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Massage Therapy for Pain - An In-Depth Analysis!

Dr. Gautam Das 92% (1366 ratings)
MD, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata  •  32 years experience
Massage Therapy for Pain - An In-Depth Analysis!

There are many ways to treat pain and this includes acupuncture, several natural remedies, technological procedures and surgery. Among the different approaches of treating pain, massage therapy is an effective method.

  1. Massage therapy is one of the earliest therapeutic processes for relieving pain for a long time as it provides ideal relief and performs recovery functions as well. In the modern day, massage therapy is a popular pain relieving remedy, which is utilized by people all over the world.
  2. Massage therapy involves manipulation of the tissues, which is performed by special therapists. There are various types of massage therapies, which incorporate different techniques and procedures.
  3. Long term massage therapy is not very expensive and has no side effects on the body. With the help of massaging, there is an increased lymph flow, improved blood circulation and several positive effects on the immune system. Local biochemical changes occur, neural activity gets enhanced and all these mean that pain is reduced.

Conflicting views

The current studies on massage therapy are quite conflicting and there are negative views regarding the effects of massage therapy to provide pain relief. Massage therapies are successful in treating several cases of lower-back pain. However, many experts consider massage therapy to be a relaxation technique and not a proper treatment procedure.

They say that massage provides relief to pain, but physical therapy, exercise and medicines are far superior in providing pain relief than massage therapy. Massage provides relief to neck pain, shoulder pain, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. However, it is considered that this relief is only temporary and not consistent enough. A single session of massage therapy does not really provide a long-term relief from pain. For better and lasting results, massage therapy should be undertaken regularly.

Multidisciplinary treatment

Massage alone will never provide ideal relief from any kind of pain and a multidisciplinary approach should be taken for pain relief treatment, where massage therapy would be one of the elements. For ideal pain relief, you should practice other measures such as physical therapy, behavioral health care, acupuncture, regular exercise and use massage therapy as a complementary relief method.

Massage therapy can never be the main treatment procedure for treating pain and it is an accompanying treatment method which you should practice along with major treatment procedures. Massage therapy combined with other therapies will provide you effective pain relief.

Massage therapy for pain provides effective temporary relief from pain. It should be performed by a trained massage therapist and for good results must be performed every day. However, massage therapy is not a primary treatment measure and should be a part of a multidisciplinary approach for pain relief.

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