Pain is a common condition that affects everyone from all walks of life. As we get older the occurrence of pain arises, with women experiencing pain more commonly than men.
There are two main types of pain:
- acute pain – a normal response to an injury which occurs suddenly and is brief.
- chronic pain – lingers beyond the time expected for healing, generally lasting longer than three months.
Pain may be anything from a dull muscle ache, throbbing sensation, to a sharp stab and can range from mild to extreme. You may feel pain in one part of your body or it may be widespread.
Our emotional wellbeing can impact our pain experience. Understanding the cause and learning effective ways to cope with your pain can improve your quality of life.
Some ways to manage pain include:
- pain-relieving medication
- psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation techniques and meditation
- mind and body techniques
- occupational therapy
- physical therapies, such as heat or cold packs, massage, hydrotherapy and exercise
Causes of pain
The most common causes of pain include:
- physical injury
- medical conditions (such as cancer, arthritis and back problems)
The most commonly reported types of pain are headache, neck, shoulder and back pain.
How pain affects the body
Pain is our body’s essential defensive mechanism, that protects our body from harm and danger.
We have pain receptors located everywhere in our body. Our nerves detect danger, relay that message to our brain, is processed by our brain and our muscles receive a message to remove that affected area from harm or danger. If an immediate action is needed our spinal cord sends an immediate response back to our muscle to instantly prevent further damage occurring. This happens before you even feel pain, which is known as a reflex reaction.
Our brain incorporates our previous experience, beliefs, expectations, culture and social norms surrounding pain. This explains why people have very different responses and perceptions of pain.
Managing pain without medication
Often in Western society we readily go for the quick and convenient solution – which is medications.
Have you ever considered a medication free treatment?
There are many non-medicinal treatments that are available to help you relieve your pain. A combination of treatments and therapies are often more effective than just one.
Some medication free options include:
- heat or cold – use ice packs immediately after an injury to reduce swelling. Heat packs to relieve muscle or joint discomfort
- physical therapies – such as walking, stretching, strengthening or aerobic exercises may help reduce pain, keeping active is the key!
- relaxation and stress management techniques – including meditation and yoga
- massage therapy (Remedial massage, Myotherapy, Shiatsu, Sports Massage are just some of the examples) – these aim to target soft tissue injuries/conditions and can treat acute or chronic pain
Yes, pain can be relieved through the use of pain medication, however, there are often long term side effects of pain medication which can be damaging to the body and our internal organs. Often over time the efficiency of medication becomes ineffective, as the body becomes more resistant to its effects, meaning people often require higher doses over prolonged periods of time resulting in people having to take more than one type of pain medication. So it is very important to consult your GP or health practitioner when using pain medication for long durations.
Many people are now turning to a more natural and drug free way to relieve their pain.
The next section will explore what remedial massage is and highlight some of the benefits.
What is Remedial massage?
Remedial massage focuses on treating soft tissue dysfunctions and injuries of the body. Each client is assessed thoroughly and a treatment plan is devised in collaboration with them to achieve their individual health goals.
Remedial massage can be used to treat various muscular and chronic ailments including:
- Relief from chronic pain
- Tension headaches and migraines
- Chronic neck and shoulder pain
- Sciatica and back pain
- Carpal tunnel and other stress/over use injuries
- Upper cross syndrome and forward head posture
- Frozen shoulder
- Tennis and golfer’s elbow
- Knee complications
Some of the techniques used in Remedial massage include deep tissue massage, cupping, myofascial tensioning, trigger point therapy and stretching. Depending on your existing condition and desired outcomes, one or more of these massage techniques may be used in order to achieve the best results and reach optimal health.
What are the benefits of Remedial massage?
Massage therapy can also promote deep relaxation, as with massage there is a release of endorphins – the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that produce feelings of wellbeing.
Levels of stress hormones in our body, such as adrenalin, cortisol and norepinephrine, are also immediately reduced. Studies indicate that high levels of stress hormones impair the immune system, which is present when we experience pain.
Some of the physical benefits of massage include:
- reduced muscle tension
- improved circulation
- stimulation of the lymphatic system
- reduction of stress hormones
- increased joint mobility and flexibility
- improved skin tone
- improved recovery of soft tissue injuries
- heightened mental alertness
- reduced anxiety and depression
Massage therapy is highly beneficial, however, it may not be effective or appropriate for some people due to complexities of their health conditions and other varying factors. Sometimes a combination of therapies (both western medicine and alternative health therapies) can be effective. It is very important to always consult a GP or health practitioner to find the most suitable treatment to manage pain. When looking for a Remedial massage therapist, ensure that they have the appropriate qualifications – so please do your research. Everybody is different, so you need to find what works best for you.
Here at Mi.ko Massage Therapy, we are here to help you find the most suitable massage treatment for you. If you need a Remedial massage today click on ‘Book Now’ to check out our availabilities.
For more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch by either calling 0481 277 707 or getting in touch via email through our ‘Contact Us’ page.