You’ve had a long day, and someone gives your shoulders and neck a little massage — you instantly feel better! Can this same effect occur when you’re struggling with chronic pain? We believe so.
As pain management specialists, the team here at Summit Pain Alliance recognizes that there are many beneficial approaches to relieving stubborn and chronic pain. While our interventional therapies can go a long way toward those ends, we appreciate that adjunct therapies, such as massage, can also play important roles.
Here’s a look at some of the many benefits of incorporating massage therapy into your pain management regimen.
Mental and physical effects of massage
One of the reasons why massage therapy can be so effective in treating pain is that the practice delivers both physical and mental benefits.
For starters, a deep tissue massage can stimulate your circulation, which encourages your body’s healing resources to flow more freely. As well, massage therapy can target certain trigger points in your muscles, causing them to relax their hold on your tissues (think of a knot or spasm in your muscle).
Outside of the direct physical results of a massage, there’s evidence that suggests that this therapy may deliver several other benefits, including:
- Lowering your cortisol production (stress hormones)
- Lowering your blood pressure
- Reducing inflammatory cytokines
- Increasing serotonin (the feel-good hormone)
Since your pain can be influenced by stress and anxiety, the therapeutic benefits of a practice that reduces these two issues are significant.
Massage — a proven solution
There are many studies on the benefits of using massage therapy to manage pain. One report analyzed the results of 67 of these studies and concluded that “Based on the evidence, massage therapy, compared to no treatment, should be strongly recommended as a pain management option.”
Diving a little deeper, a study of 401 patients who reported chronic problems with lower back pain found that those who underwent 10 weeks of massage therapy had less pain and were more active during their treatment than those who relied on medications and physical therapy. And these great results held up at the six-month mark.
Is massage therapy right for you?
We’ve found that many conditions can benefit from massage therapy, including:
Since massage therapy is non-invasive and quite safe, we feel that there’s very little to lose and everything to gain by adding massage therapy to your overall treatment plan.
If you’d like to learn whether massage can play a role in relieving your pain, contact one of our two locations in Santa Rosa or Petaluma, California.