Chronic & Persistent Pain

Massage, Remedial Massage & Myotherapy for Chronic &/ Or Persistent Pain

Please note: This article is aimed towards chronic pain caused by muscular tightness & previous injury. Sometimes this will be an obvious cause, and in other cases you won’t be able to pick the reason it started. Either way read on to find out how massage, remedial massage & myotherapy can help.

We will be adding another article in the near future for chronic pain caused by medical conditions. In many cases regular massage can also be very effective for chronic pain caused by a number of medical conditions!

Chronic & persistent pain is there for a reason, fix it. 

Chronic pain isn’t just a few weeks of discomfort, it is ongoing, constant pain. Most of which is caused by previous injury or overuse of a muscle or joint. An issue can be considered chronic after 6 weeks. But, in reality people suffering chronic pain have often been that way for many months. Even worse in some cases years and sadly sometimes decades. 

When we feel pain our brain is interpreting there is a problem. But chronic pain is complex. This pain signal has been there for a while. There can be several causes for this signal:

  • Sometimes it’s still the initial injury
  • More commonly it’s due to trigger points that formed around the initial injury or because of altered movement patterns
  • It can also be due to the brain not switching the signal off even though it’s not there.

Massage, remedial massage & myotherapy can be fantastic form of therapy to help with all 3 of these. We can help to stimulate healing. In cases where it’s not something that will heal, improve the function of the area around the injury to limit it’s impact.

These forms of therapies are also extremely effective at helping to release the trigger points. These trigger points may be causing your chronic and persistent pain. Treating these not only eases your pain, but will improve your movement quality. Improving movement often leads to being more active and the associated health benefits of that.

Finally massage, remedial massage, dry needling & myotherapy can help to switch off this pain signal. No pain signal. no pain! Sometimes your body just needs this bit of extra help (and a few tricks we have) to realise there is no need for this pain signal to be present.

Chronic Pain Increases Stress Levels

Chronic pain can cause stress levels to rise keeping your body in a state of ‘fight or flight’. This means your body’s resources are sent to the areas of the body needed for action. Which results in other areas not getting the resources they need, and your body becomes over worked.  

Your muscles become tighter which then causes pain levels to rise and mobility to decrease.  

It will become harder to sleep which is when your body natural heals itself.  

Massage increases blood circulation through the body. This brings nutrients help soft tissues repair. Also it helps to rid toxins and waste products which helps the body to function better. Additionally, it will help decrease inflammation which causes discomfort and is a huge factor in chronic conditions. By fighting inflammation symptoms will be reduced. All of this combined goes a long way to helping chronic pain.

How to manage chronic pain without drugs. 

Most clients who have suffered chronic pain have turned to heavy pain medication by the time they come in. Some forms are a great way help kick start the healing process many are more harm than good. The easiest and safest way is to help the body heal with natural remedies such as: 

Heat – heat is a great way to reduce muscle tension and stimulate blood circulation. You may find applying a heat pack in the morning or evening will help reduce stiffness and discomfort in your muscles and joints.  

Ice – ice helps reduce inflammation in muscles and joints by contracting blood vessels. Icing your muscles at the begging of a flair up or at the end of a particularly troublesome day can minimize the extent of a flair up.  

Sleep – poor sleeping patterns can have a significant impact on your pain levels and other symptoms as your body repairs while you sleep. 

By getting more and better-quality sleep your body will have the ability to repair quicker and more easily (pssst, massage also assists with this) 

Keep moving – This can be a difficult cycle. All I can say here is listen to your body. You want to continue your daily activities to the best of your abilities without pushing so hard as to negatively impact your pain levels. This will keep and increase the strength of muscles which will help improve physical function.  

Range of movement – Increasing your range of movement consists of different stretching techniques in order to get the most movement out of joints. Muscles dislike small movements which makes then even tighter, stretching muscles will keep your body functioning at its best.   

How Massage, Remedial Massage & Myotherapy Decreases Your Chronic Pain on a Chemical Level

When receiving treatment from a therapist you trust, you set yourself up for the best possible chance to have terrific results!  

Your body’s response to functioning incorrectly is to send pain signals to the brain which then gets the inflammatory response to begin. This is easily treated with manual massage techniques to flush the area and repair the muscles surrounding.  

Not only can it reduce pain and discomfort, along with decreasing inflammation, it can also have a huge impact on stress levels.  

Levels of Serotonin (a chemical our body needs to balance mood and promote emotional wellbeing) can be increased by 28% through massage, while Dopamine (the chemical responsible for pleasure/joy) can be increased by 31%. This will also keep your body telling you to stay on track while you are managing your chronic pain.  

Don’t make the mistake of learning to live with chronic pain! 

Most people who experience chronic pain believe it a matter of dealing with it. This is not true at all. There is so much that can be done to avoid the symptoms of chronic pain  

Although some days are worse than others, not every day has to be spent worrying about your pain and discomfort.  

Instead of putting your energy towards ‘coping’, focus of managing. Start a treatment plan, it will keep you and your body on track and avoiding the painful symptoms your chronic pain creates.  This typically consists of consist massage therapy, stretches and exercises, and listening to your body.

Following a regular routine will help to retrain muscle groups and increase the function of the whole body.  

How to get through the bad days of your chronic pain 

No day is the same, each night you may go to bed wondering if you will sleep that night or how your body will function the following day. So how do we get through a particularly tough day or avoid it when you feel a flare-up coming on? 

A few common ways we recommend assisting on those troublesome times is using either hot or cold therapy, daily stretching (gentle when especially painful), a light walk, deep breathing exercises, hot shower or bath with magnesium crystals, Remedial massage.  

Each of these have their own way of increasing blood circulation to the muscles needing assistance, decreasing inflammation and easing pain and tension.