MASSAGE THERAPY FOR PAIN MANAGEMENT
first off... listen to your pain...
Although the sensation of pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience, it is one of the most important element of the body's defense mechanism. Pain is a message from our bodies that something is wrong, thus can be “good” at times when it reminds us to not do something we shouldn’t. The sensation of pain can be associated with actual or potential tissue damage, which helps to adjust behavior to avoid a harmful situation in the future.
what is the difference between acute & chronic pain?
When injured, the brain and nervous system will recognize the hazardous movement patterns and inactivate the muscles that are involved - this is a crucial response of the body's own protective mechanism that needs to be paid close attention to.
- Acute pain is felt immediately, like a strained or sprain to a join or muscle. An acute condition may involve soft tissue damage or inflammation/swelling. The failure to find out what is causing the pain and treat acute pain properly may lead to chronic pain (which can take longer to heal). When experiencing a sudden onset of pain, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a physician.
- Chronic pain is when it is felt day after day, month after month, and seems impossible to heal, people often experience feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. In order to eliminate the problem, it is essential to find the cause, design an appropriate treatment plan and follow a dedicated home-care routine.
pain & arthritis:
Joint stiffness may be either the symptom of pain on moving a joint, the symptom of loss of range of motion or the physical sign of reduced range of motion.
- Pain on movement is commonly caused by Osteoarthritis, often in quite minor degrees, and other forms of arthritis. It may also be caused by injury or overuse. The range of motion may be normal or limited by pain. "Morning Stiffness" pain which eases up after the joint has been used, is the common characteristic of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Loss of motion(symptom): often the the joint (or many joints) does not move as far as they used to or need to. Loss of motion can be a feature of more advanced stages of arthritis including Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis and Ankylosing spondylitis.
- Loss of range of motion(sign): the examining medical professional notes that the range of motion of the joint is less than normal. Routine examination by an orthopedic surgeon or rheumatologist will often pay particular attention to this. The range of motion may be measured and compared to the other side and to normal ranges.
The combination of massage/bodywork & self-care can help towards decreasing and/or gradually eliminating the source of pain & discomfort.