When it comes to treating chronic pain, how it is treated depends on numerous factors, including the condition your pain is associated with as well as any other symptoms. Manipulation and massage are two types of pain management techniques that can help to manage pain. Manipulation involves a therapist using their hands or a small tool to manipulate your muscles and other soft tissues. Manipulations are delivered either manually or instrument-assisted, such as an activator gun and/or drop table assist. This works out more than just the knots and kinks in your muscles—it’s a therapeutic approach to treating your pain.

What Types of Doctors Offer Manipulation and Massage Therapy?

The three types of professions that can perform manipulation are: chiropractors, osteopathic doctors, and physical therapists (PTs). All three are reimbursed by Medicare and commercial healthcare providers; there are no universal exclusions for PTs. Osteopathic manipulation is what PT typically align with.

A physical therapist, chiropractor, or osteopathic doctor can provide pain-relieving manipulation and massage therapies.(Source: 123RF)

The two main types of manipulation—osteopathic and chiropractic—are commonly used to treat:

  • headaches
  • low back pain
  • neck pain
  • sports injuries.

Similarly, massage therapists (MTs) use massage to reduce chronic aches and pains associated with a wide variety of conditions where the soft tissues are contributing to the pain. Massage also has universal usage within the previous three professions already mentioned—however, the MT is the massage specialist.