There is a very good reason why elite sporting teams have masseurs on the payroll. Because they want the scientifically proven benefits that massage brings to keep players strong on the field. Massage is an effective, pain relieving, endorphin raising therapy and it might be just the thing to ease your back pain. You might not running around the pitch like a pro but you will be living your life to the full again.
In 2011 a well-known study in America confirmed what we had all long suspected – massage makes back pain feel better. The study followed 400 human participants as they embarked on the back pain recovery process. The control group were left to their own devices but there were two lucky cohorts who got to trial two types of massage over a 10 week period. The first group received weekly whole-body relaxation massages and the other group received focussed attention on the specific muscles causing the back pain problems, weekly. Unfortunately for the people in the control group, after ten weeks they were not feeling all that much better. However, there was a marked improvement for the two massage groups. It didn’t seem to matter what type of massage either. Within the massage groups, a significant 36 – 39% declared that their back pain had just about gone. Compare this to the mere 4% in the control group.
Massage, is pressure applied to the body manually often with gliding motions or applications of pressure. It works on the body in several ways. It increases blood flow and circulation around the body. When the circulatory system is in good shape the blood is able to transport oxygen and nutrients to injured muscles so that cells recover and regenerate. The massage action forces tension in the muscles to be released, thus regaining flexibility and reducing pain. As a social species, humans also respond to touch on a chemical level. Massage encourages the release of endorphins in the brain which put you in a better frame of mind. Anyone suffering from long term pain knows, alleviating depression and increasing the feel good factor enables you to better manage your pain experiences.
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You are a great candidate for the restorative benefit of massage therapy if you experience muscle spasms. These are often caused by slips, trips and falls or awkward, heavy lifting. The muscles become tender and inflamed. A good massage will work the muscle back out. Targeted massage on pain points can ease the pressure held by Fibromyalgia sufferers. People with osteoarthritis will benefit from massage by reduction of stress, tension and getting the circulation going. Yet with this condition it is increasingly important to rely on a professional only.
Like any medical treatment, talk to your doctor first about engaging a certified professional. Seek out a professional physiotherapist, osteopath or massage therapist over unqualified staffers at local shopping centres who could put you at unnecessary risk of injury. However, if you experience the following conditions massage will not be able to help at this point in time: recent surgery; infectious skin disease, rash, or unhealed wounds; varicose veins; and osteoporosis.
As far as therapy goes, massage is rather enjoyable, non invasive, and widely available. Keep in mind that it is a personal treatment and each practitioner approaches their techniques differently. Simply put, if you are not satisfied with the first massage you try, keep going until you find the service right for you. The therapy market also has excellent massage chairs and handheld devices so you can continue therapy at home.