There are several different types of massage that are utilized by professional massage therapists to provide effective pain relief, and they fit into two primary categories: rehabilitative and relaxation. Although relaxation massages, which are commonly referred to as Swedish massages, can definitely provide some benefits for people who are dealing with pain, it is best to use the rehabilitative approach. After all, pain management requires specific techniques that are based around your needs, and a massage therapist who specializes in providing rehabilitative services will be best suited to assist you.
What Exactly is Massage Therapy?
A standard masseuse can offer their clients a relaxing experience that is helpful for relaxing muscles and reducing anxiety and stress. However, a massage therapist is an actual healthcare professional who has been properly trained in a mixture of modalities that enable them to manipulate your soft body tissue to improve your overall well-being and health. Massage therapy is very successful at reducing pain and rehabilitating injuries, and it is often recommended for people who cannot achieve a suitable level of pain management with other techniques such as physical therapy and medication. In fact, massage therapy can be a much more viable option than medication because it actually helps relieve the issues that cause pain instead of simply masking them. Due to this, it is becoming increasingly common for patients to receive coverage for massage therapy sessions from their insurance company, and the VA also takes advantage of this option to help veterans manage their pain.
There have been multiple studies conducted during the past few decades that have looked closely at the effectiveness of massage therapy as a pain management tool. The results of these studies have been overwhelmingly positive, and it is clear that going to a massage therapist on a regular basis can help a wide variety of health and pain related issues. For example, multiple reports indicate that therapeutic massage can dramatically reduce the amount of anxiety and pain that cancer patients deal with.
Other studies have proven that massage therapy is effective for minimizing the negative impact of chronic low back pain and reducing chronic and post-traumatic headaches. Additionally, a study at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles found a huge reduction in the amount of muscle spasms, pain and requests for medication by incorporating massage therapy into the post-surgery treatment plan of several patients. An astounding 95 percent of the people who participated in the study stated that massage therapy played a huge role in their recovery and made it easier for them to avoid excessive consumption of prescription pain medication.
Which Modality is Right for Me?
Massage techniques, which are often referred to as modalities, can vary greatly and are targeted at very specific needs. There are dozens of options available, so it is best to work closely with your physician and massage therapist to ensure that you receive the proper type of treatment. Some of the most popular modalities include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, remedial massage, pregnancy massage, sports massage and Thai massage. Remedial massage is one of the most common modalities to treat tissue and muscle injuries, and deep tissue massage can release tension and pain.
Regardless of the type of modality that you choose, massage therapy should provide you with a noticeable reduction of pain. Keep in mind that it is often necessary to visit a massage therapist several times in order to receive optimal results.