Of the numerous health or comfort issues that people may suffer from, one of the single most common and frustrating is chronic pain. Chronic pain can show up in a variety of areas of the body based on numerous different causes, and those who suffer from it are regularly looking for great techniques for limiting or eliminating it.
One of the most common ways people go about alleviating or even eliminating pain is through the use of various massage therapy techniques, including everything from deep tissue and full body massage to sports massage, Swedish massage and many other styles. What are some examples of chronic pain, and how can massage therapy benefit those who suffer from them? Here’s a rundown.
Examples of Chronic Pain
While chronic pain can arise from a variety of sources, here are some of the most common conditions or other issues that may lead to it:
- Major injury: A car accident, a fall, or any other major physical trauma that results in tissue damage can lead to chronic pain. This type of pain is often localized to the area where the original injury occurred.
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are two types of arthritis that can cause chronic pain, often in the joints.
- Sciatica: This is a condition that results from pressure on the sciatic nerve, often due to a herniated disk in the lower back. The pain can radiate down the back of the leg and be very disabling.
- Fibromyalgia: This is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome: This is a condition characterized by profound fatigue that doesn’t go away with rest and that may be accompanied by other symptoms such as headache, muscle pain, and joint pain.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS): This is a group of disorders that cause inflammation in the intestines. Symptoms can include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
People At Higher Risk for Chronic Pain
Again, chronic pain can happen to anyone. That said, there are several groups of people who may be at higher risk than others, including:
- Those who have recently undergone any major surgery or physical trauma
- Those who suffer from chronic conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue syndrome
- People who are overweight or obese
- People who work in high-risk jobs such as construction or law enforcement
How Massage Therapy Can Benefit Those With Chronic Pain
Massage therapy is often one of the top go-to treatments for chronic pain. And with good reason—massage therapy can provide a variety of benefits for those suffering from chronic pain, including:
- Reduced inflammation: Massage therapy can help to reduce inflammation in the tissues, which can help to ease pain.
- Enhanced blood circulation: When you get a massage, your blood flow increases, which can help to improve healing and alleviate pain.
- Improved range of motion: Massage therapy can help to improve your range of motion, which can be helpful if you’re struggling with limited mobility due to chronic pain.
- Reduced stress and anxiety: Chronic pain can be very stressful, but massage therapy can help to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. This can be helpful in managing pain.
- Improved sleep quality: Pain can often interfere with sleep, but massage therapy can help to improve sleep quality and duration.
So if you’re struggling with chronic pain, don’t despair—massage therapy may be able to help. Talk to your doctor or a massage therapist to see if it’s right for you, plus learn about the available techniques and which is ideal.
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