Medical journals have documented countless studies acknowledging the beneficial effects of massage therapy on pain management.
Although it seems like a fantasy to many chronic pain sufferers, the truth is that massage therapy has been found to minimize dependency on pain medications.
Imagine needing less medication due to a comprehensive pain management regime that includes a relaxing, therapeutic massage. It sounds too good to be true, but it is the reality: massage therapy can eliminate dependency on pain medications. However, it is important to note that not all types of massages target specific pains.
Types of Massage Therapy
There are over eighty styles of massage therapy. Some styles of massage are excellent for alleviating depression, but do little for chronic or acute pain management. Choosing the appropriate style of massage therapy is best done in consultation with your pain management clinician. However, there are a few guidelines that will aid in scheduling the best massage for your pain.
- Deep Tissue Massage: using slow strokes to penetrate to muscule layers deep under your skin, the massage therapist soothes trouble spots and chronic patterns of muscle tension and back sprain
- Neuromuscular Therapy Massage: ideal for pain management for chronic pain resulting from repetitive movement, neuromuscular therapy massage uses soft tissue manipulation to address trigger points
- Sports Massage: use a sports massage as a proactive measure to prevent sports injuries, also this style of massage can promote flexibility, leading to less pain
- Swedish Massage: the most popular of massages, Swedish massage provides relief to the entire body thru a combination of long, kneading strokes and light, tapping strokes to relieve muscle tension
Top Three Benefits of Massage Therapy for Pain Management
According to the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, several medical studies have documented the benefits of massage therapy as a complement to traditional pain management tactics. Satisfied patients are educated in the truth versus myths behind the benefits of massage therapy for pain management. Massage therapy cannot cure all ills, but it has shown to be an excellent treatment for three common ailments: headaches, back pain, and osteoarthritis.
- Headaches: massage therapy can naturally reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines and other headaches; routine massages are necessary to achieve a reduction in pain and may take many sessions to recognize the relief in tension leading to headaches; try Thai massage or your clinician’s personalized recommendation
- Back pain: Deep tissue massage is one styles of massage therapy shown to minimize and prevent back pain and injuries from back strain
- Osteoarthritis: minimize knee pain and stiffness with a Swedish massage during a one-hour massage therapy session once or twice weekly
Your pain is as unique as you are. Be sure to consult with your doctor to ensure that you schedule the appropriate massage for your type of pain.