Massage for Pain Relief
If you're in pain, what can you expect from massage? Will you get better right away? How often should you get massage for pain relief?
All excellent questions! Massage is rarely a matter of "fixing." If you come in with back pain that's been getting progressively worse over a course of 3 months, it's unlikely that a single massage session will magically "fix" your pain.
Pain is a complex thing, created by your movement and postural habits, the work that you do, and your past and present injuries. It's also strongly influenced by things like stress and mindset. Not an easy thing to change in a single hour!
It's more likely that pain relief will come over the course of weeks or months. As massage becomes a part of your life, your body will come to the slow realization that it doesn't need so much habitual tension, and that it can safely turn down the "volume" on your pain. This can even be true for structural problems, like knee and hip osteoarthritis. Many recent studies have shown substantial benefit for arthritis sufferers just from plain old feel-good Swedish massage. Less pain, more range of motion, and greater function, just from making massage a part of your routine.
What can you expect after your first massage? You should feel a little better. You might have a few more degrees of motion in your painful shoulder, or fewer spasms in your low back. You should sleep better that night, and the effects can last for several days. As you continue your daily routine, the pain will likely creep back in.
So why get massage at all? Because with each massage, the effects should build. After your 4th massage, the pain will drop considerably, and it won't return to the same levels that it started at. After the 8th, you might have difficulty remembering what your old pain felt like. There will be ups and downs, but the overall trend should be "down."
The effects of regular massage are long-lasting. In studies that used a 12-week protocol of weekly massage, the effects stuck around for at least 6 months after the final massage (though the benefits do start slowly dropping off).
Massage is an effective tool in dealing with pain because it introduces a safe range of movement into your tissues, increases circulation, down-regulates the nervous system and addresses neuromuscular imbalances that may be causing your discomfort.
How often should you get massage? Most of the studies that show substantial benefits use a weekly protocol, but I've seen good results from twice-monthly massage. If you're in pain, I'd recommend starting with weekly massage for about four weeks, and then tapering off as you recover. I know that massage is expensive, so start with what you can! Just realize that frequency and regularity are big factors in the success of the treatment regimen.
If you are dealing with pain and would like to try massage therapy for pain relief the therapists at Remedy Massage are highly experienced in working with people dealing with all kinds of chronic and acute pain issues and are very much looking forward to working with you to find a treatment plan that adresses your particular goals and needs.
Your partner in wellness,
Remedy Massage owner and therapist,
Lyndsey Anderson NC LMBT#9382
Remedy Massage is a privately-owned, therapeutic massage therapy practice in Raleigh, NC. Contact us by phone at 919-263-0932 by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or book online through Massagebook to schedule your appointment. We look forward to meeting and working with you!