How Massage Therapy Can Help With Chronic Pain

Living with chronic pain isn’t only debilitating in terms of physical health and restricted movement, but its effects on your mental health, such as anxiety and depression, can be difficult to cope with, too.

Dealing with your chronic pain can be hard when pain medication isn’t helping and you have a busy day ahead that you know will end in tears. Massage therapy can help you manage and even reduce your chronic pain while helping you to relax and relieve some of that stress and anxiety that’s stopping you from living your life the way you want.

Massage therapy relaxes painful joints, muscles, and tendons

When you’re in constant pain, your body holds the tension in your joints, muscles, and tendons, and they become hard, knotted, and stiff. When your joints and muscles are in this tense state, they can’t function properly, and this contributes to your pain. It’s a vicious circle where the symptoms exacerbate the cause, and it can be a difficult cycle to break.

Massage therapy applies pressure at specific trigger points on your body to release this built-up tension and help your muscles to relax again. Different massage techniques might be used according to your chronic pain condition. Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia sufferers, for example, often can’t tolerate deep tissue massage, so we use a lighter touch instead.

Relieving anxiety and stress is an important aspect of massage therapy

Living with a chronic pain condition can cause anxiety and stress. Not knowing if you can make it through a day at work because of the pain, or having to turn down friends and family because you don’t have the energy and strength to spend time with them, can be difficult to deal with day after day.

This can be the case particularly with a fluctuating condition like fibromyalgia or headaches. The next flare-up might be just around the corner and you’re always on edge, forced to plan ahead in case it strikes.

Having a therapeutic massage eases and calms your mind along with relaxing your body, relieving that stress and helping you feel like your old self again. With regular massages keeping on top of your pain levels, you may find that your anxiety disappears as you manage more activities and spend time with your loved ones again.

Massage can close the ‘gate’ controlling your pain

We now understand that pain isn’t just about receptors in the brain but that there’s a “gate” controlling the levels of pain. When the gate is open you feel more pain and when it’s closed you feel less pain, if any.

There are several factors that can open the gate causing you pain, including your medical condition, inactivity, lifestyle factors, and an excessive focus on your pain. These are difficult to control when living with a chronic pain condition, but massage therapy can help.

By relaxing your muscles, joints, and ligaments, you regain function and build up your activity levels again, while the stress-busting effects ease your anxiety and concern about the pain. Massage also stimulates the nerve fibers causing the pain, alerting your brain that there’s a change and that it can close the pain gate.

Our massage specialist can help you conquer your chronic pain

Don’t let chronic pain continue to dictate how you live your life. Improve your health by booking an appointment with our massage therapy specialist here at Family Medical Clinic. Call us today at 907-262-7566.

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