If you have ever had a professional massage, you may have felt a bit torn. The deep tissue rub often feels relaxing and helps you get rid of aches and pains, but there can be some pain associated with the massage itself. You might even wonder if the massage is doing anything to resolve your pain or if it is just causing you further injury.
In reality, deep touch—such as massage—is a great way to heal from injury and change how your body responds to pain. We have put together some information to help you understand the benefits of getting a massage.
The Benefits of Getting a Massage
- Massage Dampens Inflammation and Pain – Studies have shown that a post-workout massage can slow or reduce the activity of certain proteins, which are known as inflammatory cytokines. These proteins cause inflammation and pain, so reducing the activity may cause less pain.
- Massage Offers Results Similar to NSAIDs (Aspirin or Advil) – NSAID medicines work to reduce substances in the body that cause the inflammatory cytokines to activate. This means that a good massage may be effective to relieving pain in a similar way to taking an aspirin or two.
- The Release of Serotonin – Massage encourages your muscles to release a chemical called serotonin. This chemical contributes to your overall well-being and sense of contentment. Put simply, a good massage will help you feel good inside and out.
- Your Therapist May Find Underlying Issues – While a massage is certainly no substitute from an appointment with a doctor, your massage therapist can potentially find underlying issues with your muscles that may otherwise remain undiscovered. Massage can be an excellent way to learn more about yourself and your body.
- Reduces Stress – Another way that massage can help with pain is that it relaxes you. When you are relaxed and less stressed, your perception of the pain you have may be less severe. This is an excellent side benefit that cannot be overlooked.
- Use Caution – While there is some pain associated with a thorough massage, it should not be TOO much to handle. Getting a massage is not a case where “no pain, no gain” should apply. Talk to your massage therapist about what feels good to you, what hurts, and find a solution that will help you recover from injury or fatigue without causing you additional pain in other areas.
If you are interested in learning more about massage or other ways to manage your pain, reach out to us at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers. We would be happy to discuss your problems and work together to help you start feeling better, faster. Our pain management specialists, nurses, and physician assistants work together to make sure that a care plan tailored for your unique needs can be created if you have any more questions about the benefits of getting a massage.