Understanding How Massage Can Help With Chronic Pain
Contrary to popular belief, pain isn’t bad. It’s like a messenger that lets you know that something is wrong in your body. When we ignore the messenger, we ignore the problem. This leads to untreated issues and greater distress in the long run.
However, it can be difficult for those struggling with chronic muscle pain to do anything but ignore the messenger. Since the pain is recurring, it can seem like there is nothing you can do about it. But if we listen to the messenger to find its root causes, it can help us understand how massage can reduce chronic pain symptoms.
Causes of Chronic Pain
There’s an endless list of things that can cause you muscle pain, from a hard workout to a terrible injury. Here, we focus on chronic pain, the kind that plagues us every day and depletes our mobility. Often this is a result of one of the following:
- Stress and tension
- Poor posture
- Health conditions (such as fibromyalgia or arthritis)
- Old injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries
These situations have a few things in common. They cause muscle knots, stiffness, weakness, and inflammation. They may also cause poor circulation, which can contribute to muscle weakness.
How Massage Can Help
Massage is synonymous with relaxation, and for good reason. Massage relaxes the muscles and joints, helping them release built-up tension and reduce stiffness. More intensive massages can help break up painful muscle knots that result from prolonged tensions, as well. Heat therapy coupled with deep tissue massages offers the most relief in this area.
But emotional tension can also help breed muscle tension, and massage is equipped to handle that too. Massage is known to lower blood pressure, increase deep breathing, reduce stress-inducing cortisol levels, and increase feel-good endorphins such as dopamine. Coupled together, this helps reverse the fight-or-flight muscle tension to reduce the ensuing chronic pain.
When muscles are strong, they’re less susceptible to chronic pain and injuries which leads to more pain. While exercise and strength training create the foundation for this endeavor, massage can also help build muscle strength. Although you’re not moving, a massage is still working and stretching the muscles, and removing metabolic waste. This helps lead to stronger muscles.
Those who suffer from poor circulation in their feet or hands know that chronic muscle pain tends to accompany it. This is because poor circulation leads to weakened muscles and stiffness. Fortunately, massage helps decrease pressure in specific areas, encouraging blood flow to these areas and increasing circulation.
Our selection of HoMedics® massage equipment has products that are perfect for targeting specific areas of muscle pain to decrease tension and promote strength and circulation.