How Massage Therapy Can Help with Chronic Pain Management

We often see or hear massage for relaxation. A great way to relax the mind, renew the body and revive the soul. Therapeutic massage is beneficial in treating various types of conditions such as golfers and tennis elbow.  It is also essential for having a better sleep. And, what’s amazing about massage is that it can help you get away from chronic pain.

When you’re experiencing pain lasting 12 weeks or more, you are suffering from chronic pain. This is different from typical pain since your body continues to send pain signals to your brain. You may feel a sharp and dull pain or a burning or an aching sensation. And, this can be troublesome since it can affect your day to day activities.

Among the common types of chronic pain includes pain from an injury, post-trauma pain, postsurgical pain, lower back pain, pain caused by nerve damage, and many others. Getting a massage is beneficial since it aims to disturb the cycle of pain for reduction and pain relief. In addition, it aims to prevent this pain from reoccurring.

Conditions that Came with Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain

In most cases, you may experience chronic pain due to injury such as pulled muscle. It develops due to nerve damage. However there are conditions that can bring chronic pain. Among the conditions that can lead to chronic pain are the following:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Endometriosis
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)
  • Vulvodynia

Who Are At Risk Of Having Chronic Pain?

People in all ages can experience chronic pain. This is usually most common in older adults. Other conditions that can lead to chronic pain are the following:

  • Got an injury
  • Undergone a surgery
  • Overweight
  • Have depression or anxiety disorder
  • High-risk job or involved in strenuous activities

How Massage Therapy Can Treat Chronic Pain

To understand how massage therapy can help to treat chronic pain, let’s first have a clear picture of what the body feels when it is under pain.

When a certain area of the body is in pain, we can feel the muscles tighten which also restricts our movement but this is how the muscles protect this area. The sad thing is that movement restriction it can lead to poor biomechanics which causes pain when we started to move.

With massage therapy, it aims to interrupt the cycle of pain. With massage, it can help to improve blood circulation, loosen up tight muscles, and improves mobility.

Research Studies that Shows Effectiveness of Massage Therapy for Chronic Pain

A 2011 study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice revealed that massage can help adults with hand pain. It can significantly reduce hand pain and improve grip strength after their first and last session. Also, what’s interesting is that anxiety and depression scores decrease. In addition, they have better sleep compared to the standard treatment control group.

A 2014 randomized controlled trial study published in Annals of Family Medicine showed that multiple 60-minute therapeutic massage for about two or three times a week within four weeks is better for chronic neck pain relief.

Various studies also showed that massage therapy can help patients with chronic back pain. A 2017 study published in Pain Medicine provided significant results that massage can have a positive effect on patients with chronic low back pain when applied as primary care. However, this study calls for further research. In addition, a 2011 study in Annals of Internal Medicine also showed that massage therapy may be effective in treating chronic back pain having benefits that can last up to 6 months.

You may also read about the 6 key benefits of massage therapy based on scientific evidences.

Types of Massage Techniques Ideal for Chronic Pain

There are various types of massage techniques that can help to relieve chronic pain. And among the most common types of massage are the following:

Swedish Massage

A type of massage that involves the use of long, soft, and kneading strokes which is not only provided for complete relaxation but is ideal for relieving muscle tension. It also a variety of techniques which may include:

  • Petrissage – involves rolling and kneading of the muscles. Application of pressure may vary depending on the patient’s sensitivity. It aims to focus on the tense area.
  • Effleurage – Applies long sweeping stroke or circular stroking movement which is applied either during the start of the massage session or at the end
  • Tapotement – Uses light and rhythmic tapping or drumming strokes. The application of these techniques varies depending on speed and pressure.
  • Friction –Application of deep pressure to a specific muscle

Deep Tissue

The Registered Massage Therapist will go deep into your sore muscles to help in releasing scar tissue. This can help in relaxing tightly knotted muscles which oftentimes causes chronic upper back and neck pain.

This type of massage therapy is ideal for people having chronic pain due to scar tissue build-up or with painful areas in the neck, shoulders, and back.

Trigger Point

This is like applying a deep tissue massage. It aims to identify and release a tight point with your tight muscles or referred as the ‘trigger point’. And, these trigger points are tight areas of the muscles that cause pain to other parts of the body. For example, a tight muscle in your back may radiate pain up to your leg. It simply aims to release these trigger points to relieve pain.

Myofascial release

A type of massage that aims to target the trigger points in the fascia to alleviate the pain. This is ideal for people suffering from fibromyalgia or other types of skeletal muscle immobility.

See also some featured massage therapy techniques for chronic pain here.

Book for an RMT Appointment Today!

 At Evergreen Rehab and Wellness, we’re a multidisciplinary clinic that can help your condition. We have Registered Massage Therapists who are skilled to address your chronic pain. Our team is committed to understanding the patient’s health concerns by providing a clear and accurate diagnosis.  We want you to be empowered to embrace a natural and pain-free life.

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Ready to book an RMT appointment at Evergreen Clinic? Call us at 604-449-5859 or 604-498-5859 or click the button below. We will help you to enjoy a painless and healthy lifestyle.