2 Your Health: Pain Management and How Massage Can Help

Heidi Overman, LMT

Pain. It will disrupt your day. Your week. Your months. Your retirement years. But what can you do? A lifetime of drugs? Surgeries? Shots? How about regular massage?

Yes. Regular massage can help with muscular pain management.

Have you ever had a doctor tell you that your pain is muscular? Then they prescribe some pain medication and have you go to a physical therapist, or they give you a shot? They rarely have you see a massage therapist. However, most massage therapists are trained in kinesiology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, and more. Massage therapists are trained in modalities that specifically address muscular pain.

Many of my clients come in complaining and at the end of their rope. They are in pain. They don’t want surgery, the physical therapy worked for a while or didn’t help, pain meds have other side effects, and shots aren’t working and they can only have them once every few months.

There are many reasons why massage helps reduce pain. More importantly, regular massage is preventative and can even help in preventing pain from returning.

Why is massage therapy effective in pain relief and management?

Below are just a few reasons why you would see a massage therapist for pain management:

* Massage therapists work with muscle fibers to “reteach” them how to release and relax.

* Massage therapy helps “break” the muscle patterns and repetitive motion issues.

* Massage therapy helps to “close the pain gate” by stimulating competing nerve fibers and impeding pain messages to and from the brain.

* During a massage, muscle temperature increases due to an increase in blood flow. When muscle temperature increases, the elasticity and flexibility of tissues increase and muscles are able to loosen and stretch.

* When the body is stressed, muscles tense up. An increase of muscle tension is a reflex reaction to stress, the body’s way of guarding against injury or pain. Stress becomes a physical and mental effect that leads to chronic pain in the body. Massage reduces stress.

* Muscular injuries (whiplash, strain, sprain, pulled muscle, crick) are best helped by muscular modalities. Trigger point release, MFT, etc., can be highly effective.

Pain can be very disruptive to your life. You want to be active and enjoy your life. Regular massage can help make that happen. Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly massage will help train those muscles, which can help in the healing process and lead to pain relief. Be patient, it is a modality that takes time and consistency, but with that, my clients have had great success in relieving chronic pain and continue to prevent it from coming back!

If you are interested in a therapeutic massage, please call MEND for an appointment at 520-771-1514. Our website is www.mymendingplace.com and we’re located at MEND Therapeutic Massage and Restorative Skincare 15920 N Oracle Rd., Ste 170 Tucson, AZ 85739 (next to the Golden Goose).