Are you looking for help with the body pains you’re experiencing?
Nowadays, there’s no telling what can cause physical injury to you or anyone you know. For some, painkillers are enough to hinder the pain and keep them going throughout the day. If the pain is too much for you to handle, you may end up going for therapeutic methods to help you manage it.
For the most part, you’ll get presented to 2 options to choose from, physical therapy vs massage therapy. Some see these 2 options to be the same thing and often go with the one which can provide fewer benefits for them. To help you know the difference between the 2 choices, we’ve prepared a guide for you below.
Read on to learn the key differences between physical and massage therapy now. The right choice will have a big impact on your recovery.
What is Physical Therapy?
Yes, both these options help relieve pain and aid in healing the body. The main difference between the 2 though is that physical therapy is more for the rehabilitation and repair of an individual’s body.
This is why physical therapy is popular for people suffering from certain medical conditions like multiple sclerosis and with people who’ve sustained injuries from sports or while working.
Often, physical therapy involves steps and programs which work towards advancing a person based on how they perform. This makes for a slow and sure climb towards normalcy for the injured patient.
What are the Benefits of Physical Therapy?
Besides allowing your body to repair itself in stages, physical therapy also provides the following benefits.
1. It’s a Good Way to Prevent Surgery
Multiple sclerosis and broken bones often need you to partake in surgery to correct it. If you choose to opt for physical therapy though, there’s a strong chance you won’t need to go through with it.
Physical therapy specializes in strengthening your body and healing it in the process. During the stages, you may end up correcting your problems by yourself.
Even if you do end up having to go through surgery, physical therapy is a great way to speed up your recovery.
2. PT Improves Mobility
A lot of PT programs help you stand, walk, and start moving at a normal pace. This is because these programs often focus on stretching and strengthening the areas you need help with.
For the most part, a physical therapy massage will strengthen your muscles in preparation for the next stage in your program. Your bone structure also receives attention through different stretches and, in some cases, special diets.
These help with joint pain and strengthen you to the point where you’ll find it easier to move on your own.
3. It Improves One’s Balance
At the beginning of every PT program, you’re first tested to see if you’re a fall risk or not. Depending on the outcome, physical therapists will include different activities aimed at improving your balance in your programs.
Most of these include real-life situations where the patient will challenge themselves to stay upright. If the problem comes from the patient’s vestibular system, therapists also have a solution for that. These make it so things like vertigo won’t become a problem in the future.
What is Massage Therapy?
Like physical therapy, massage therapy helps alleviate the pain an individual feels in their body. What makes it different it that massage therapy’s primary function is to soothe muscles. This does more than most people realize.
Tension in the muscles is often what causes prolonged pain in the body. Massage therapists target key points in the body to make them relax. This loosens them up and allows the body to start rejuvenating them.
Why not go out for a simple massage then? Well, there’s a big difference between a masseuse vs a massage therapist. A massage therapist has hundreds of hours of education and is a therapist licensed by the state.
This means they know what they’re doing and can provide healthcare for their patients.
What are the Benefits of Massage Therapy?
Still having trouble choosing between physical therapy vs massage therapy? Well, massage therapy provides different benefits than PT does. Besides being more affordable, massage therapy can also give you these benefits.
1. Promotes Muscle Relaxation
As mentioned above, this therapy aims to relax your muscles through different massages. By doing so, the area begins to loosen up and become less painful as a result. Doing this also allows the muscles to become more flexible than they can be.
This also releases endorphins which speed up the pain relief. This boosts certain hormones in the body which lead to elevated levels of happiness. Not only your muscles but also you will feel relaxed after a therapy session.
2. Realigns Your Bone Structure
Muscles play a big role in how your bone structure is as you age. Some muscles hold different bones in place. If any of those muscles end up locking up, it may stunt bone growth or alignment.
Often, the cause of these misalignments is poor posture. Massage therapy corrects that by easing the muscles into a more favorable position. Scoliosis can also get treated this way.
3. Improves Blood Circulation Throughout the Body
When muscles become relaxed, they once again allow blood to circulate with ease in that area. This begins a cascading effect which benefits the entire body. For instance, the improved blood flow will allow blood to circulate back faster.
This means you’ll be able to get more nutrient-rich blood throughout your body. The new blood will then promote healing across all cells in your body. This will make your body better and healthier even after the session ends.
Also, the motions from different massage therapy types all help dissolve lactic acid. As lactic acid dissolves, it further improves the fluid flow from lymph nodes. This allows your body to dispose of the waste products in your body faster.
Choose Between Physical Therapy vs Massage Therapy Today
Between physical therapy vs massage therapy, which one should you choose? With the help of our guide above, you’ll know which one benefits your situation better. Keep in mind there’s no definitive answer for each person so read up and know which kind of therapy you need today!
Looking to enroll in either massage or physical therapy? Contact us here and we’ll get you started as soon as possible!