How Massage Therapy Can Help with Chronic Pain
You wake up after a night of tossing and turning, only to realize you will have to go through another day filled with aches and tears. You feel hopeless, overwhelmed, possibly even depressed. This is what millions of people go through every day. Chronic pain affects every facet of your life, and the long-term impact this pain can have on your happiness can seem unbearable. Whether you have fibromyalgia, arthritis, or another ailment that causes chronic pain, pain management is probably always on your mind. You want to find any way to have just a little relief. Massages are one of the best ways to alleviate pain in your muscles, tendons, and joints. Regular massages improve circulation and enrich your blood with oxygen.
Massages can also improve muscle tonicity. When muscles become weakened, they are more susceptible to sensations of pain. Massages strengthen tired muscles, which will help revitalize the strength of your whole body. Muscle tonicity is crucial because the more toned your muscles are, the more efficiently they function. Chronic pain often causes your muscles to grow fatigued. When this happens, they stop working at their optimal potential. Massage therapy can help keep the muscles toned and functioning properly.
Some people who experience chronic pain also experience daily headaches. This takes a toll on your stress levels and overall ability to live your life. Massage therapy can also provide headache relief by increasing blood flow to the brain. Relaxing and toning the muscles in your neck can also help with pain from tension headaches.
Arthritis also affects mobility, especially if the arthritis is in the knees or the elbows. Massaging the muscles and joints in the legs and arms will reduce stiffness and increase range of motion. Pinched nerves, knots, and bad circulation can also influence mobility. Massages help with all these conditions. Restricted mobility itself also leads to pain. If you walk in a position that is not natural, you can end up causing damage to the muscles and ligaments.
What about sleep? If you suffer from chronic pain, you know one of the most challenging parts is falling and staying asleep. You probably spend more time each night than you want to desperately searching for a comfortable position. Pain can wake you up in the middle of the night, and it can be hard to fall back asleep. Regular massages help improve your sleep cycles by relaxing your body and mind. Any natural way to improve your sleeping habits is usually preferable to medications that come with a wide range of undesirable side effects.
Another notable benefit of massage therapy is the release of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical compound found in blood platelets, the GI tract, and the central nervous system. Serotonin levels are associated with mood, cognition, and anxiety. By releasing serotonin, massages can help combat chronic pain by lowering your stress levels. Because chronic pain can have such an intense impact on your quality of life, activities that improve your mood are essential for your long-term happiness.
Having a massage a day, or even a week sounds pretty nice, but that's not always realistic. Massages can add up pretty quickly, but some insurance policies cover them, so check your policy to find out if you are able to have one covered.
For those who need a daily massage fix, but can't find the time or resources to go in and get one, carrying around a ready-to-go massage oil can help.
Always consult your doctor or healthcare professional prior to starting a new treatment, such as massage for chronic pain. This site offers health and wellness information and is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.