Reducing chronic pain through massage is something many sufferers pursue to help naturally improve their quality of life.
In most cases, chronic pain starts with an acute injury or illness.
If the pain of this injury or illness persists beyond six months, it’s considered chronic pain.
Chronic pain can be very debilitating and often causes further complications that create a vicious cycle of worsening pain.
The widespread effects of chronic pain
For example, many people with chronic pain tend to have difficulty sleeping.
After a while, they become so tired and their patience wears so thin that everything starts to affect them.
They also find that coping with chronic pain gets harder and harder.
Some people with chronic pain stop working and this can lead to financial pressure and stress.
Chronic pain can also affect the roles people have in the family.
Chronic pain sufferers tend to report some combination of fear, irritability, anxiety and depression.
They also tend to express that they have lost their sense of direction to life. They are stuck.
Massage therapy as part of a multidisciplinary approach to managing chronic pain provides a hands on approach to soft tissue pain and dysfunction with benefits that extend beyond the pain areas.
Benefits of managing chronic pain
Massage can reduce pain, as well as improve a person’s overall feeling of well-being which is a key factor in managing chronic pain.
Increases serotonin, which reduces pain naturally
During and after massage treatments there is a release of the body’s natural pain killers such as serotonin, which is one of the body’s natural anti-pain chemicals.
Naturally increases deep sleep
Additionally, an aggravating factor in pain syndromes is often a lack of deep, restorative sleep. Massage is very effective at promoting deep sleep. With deeper sleep, there is less pain and a more balanced feeling of being able to cope with debilitating chronic pain.
Increases range of motion
Fibromyalgia and arthritis are two chronic pain syndromes that can be positively impacted by massage therapy. In a study of massage therapy for osteoarthritis in the knees, a group receiving massage therapy showed significant improvement in pain, stiffness and physical function. They increased their range of motion and reduced the time it took them to walk 15 metres.
Lowers anxiety and improves mood
For people looking for natural ways to manage their chronic pain, massage therapy can improve quality of life by impacting mood as well as manage the pain. The simple power of touch in supporting someone to feel better, as well as increased circulation, lymphatic flow and increase in endorphin release – all support a lift in mood.
When you live with chronic pain, having a toolbox of strategies to turn to for pain relief is important.
Massage can be a simple yet powerful tool for relaxation and pain relief.