Back pain can be debilitating. Whether it’s lower back pain, upper back pain (around the back of your shoulders) or right in the center, you are left unable to stand up straight without hurting. You also might not be able to sit comfortably, and even lying in bed can be agonizing.

If you go to a doctor or the emergency room for your back pain, you are most likely going to walk out with prescriptions for muscle relaxers and pain killers. However, these tend to mask the problem by dulling the pain, instead of getting to the root of the issue and actually finding a solution. This is where chiropractors and massage therapists come in.

So, When Should You Go to a Chiropractor?

If your pain is caused by a strained ligament, poor posture, or something more “mechanical” in nature. Repeating the same motions over and over, like lifting with your back instead of your knees, for example, is an ingrained habit that can cause your back to hurt by pulling muscles, joints, and more out of alignment. A chiropractor can solve the problem by re-aligning what is out of place . He or she will also give you a series of exercises to do at home to help you break bad habits and strengthen your muscles. These exercises will help reduce the possibility of getting re-injured.

And What About a Massage Therapist?

If the root of your pain is muscular in nature, like a muscle spasm, an overworked muscle, or similar problem, then your issue can be helped by massage therapy. The therapist will loosen your muscles and increase the blood flow. The increased blood flow helps heal them faster, and the loosening can stop a muscle spam practically in its tracks.