01 Dec Back and neck pain relief
Why is massage a good choice for relief of back and neck pain? The vertebrae in our spinal column serve as anchors, or attachment sites, for skeletal muscle. The intricate shapes of the vertebrae provide multiple attachment sites. When the muscle becomes chronically contracted, (often the source of that painful feeling), the muscle fibers are shortened and exert force on the vertebrae. That forceful tug of the muscle can pull a vertebrae out of proper alignment with its neighbors, and cause interference to a nerve exiting the spinal column, resulting in both nerve and muscle pain.
How can massage help? The beneficial effects of massage therapy on skeletal muscle are muscle relaxation and improved circulation, relief of muscle spasms and cramps, reduction of myofascial pain, rehabilitation following muscle injury and improved athletic performance (when massage precedes activity) and enhanced recovery (when applied following training), according to A Physician’s Guide to Therapeutic Massage, by Dr. John Yates, Ph.D.
Massage therapy may be considered the treatment of choice for a wide variety of muscular conditions, including whiplash, tension headache, muscle hypertonicity, (tightness) thoracic outlet syndrome, temperomandibular joint dysfunction, and muscle soreness due related to overuse injury incurred during work or sports activities.
Appropriate therapeutic massage techniques will vary according to the clinical presentation of the individual.