NOTICE: The information presented here regarding the use of massage therapy in assisting with medical conditions, while believed to be accurate, is presented for informational purposes only. This information does not replace the advice of your physician. You are STRONGLY advised to seek the advice of your physician before seeking massage therapy treatment, and to permit (even encourage) your massage therapist to communicate with your physician regarding your medical condition before, during, and after treatment. Remember only a licensed physician may diagnose the conditions listed below.
Anxiety | Arthritis | Carpal Tunnel Syndrome | Cramps/Spasms | DOMS | Fibromyalgia | Foot Pain | Headaches | High Blood Pressure | Low Back Pain | Neck Pain/Stiffness | Parkinson's Disease | Piriformis Syndrome | Plantar Fasciitis | Rotator Cuff | Sciatica | Shin Splints | Sleep Problems | Spinal Stenosis | Tennis Elbow | Thoracic Inlet/Outlet Syndrome | TMJ Pain/Dysfunction | Whiplash
Anxiety is often temporarily relieved and may be lessened in the long term with massage therapy. Research by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami indicates that anxiety and associated levels of cortisol (a "stress hormone") and norepinephrin are lower after massage. This was found to be true especially in persons suffering depression as well as anxiety.
While there are literally hundreds of different types of "arthritis" the most common is osteoarthritis which is sometimes called Degenerative Joint Disease or DJD. Osteoarthritis/DJD occurs when the cartilage in the joint wears away or is damaged by trauma. Muscles and connective tissues around joints with mild to moderate osteoarthritis/DJD tend to tighten to support the joint. This tightening is one of the reasons arthritis is accompanied by muscular pain. Massage therapy is usually successful in relieving muscular pain associated with this type of arthritis and may even help prevent further deterioration of joints.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a diagnosis of abnormal pressure on the median nerve in the wrist as it passes through the carpal tunnel. Pain and numbness or tingling is generally felt in the thumb, first two fingers, and palm area as well as the wrist. In many cases special forms of massage therapy such as Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT) and Myofascial Release (MFR) can ease pressure on the nerve from tendons passing through the carpal tunnel and excess fluid in the area. Massage therapy can also help relieve conditions which might mimic Carpal Tunnel Syndrome such as Pronator Teres Syndrome, or referred pain from muscles in the arm or shoulder.
Cramps or Spasms are painful contractions of the body's muscles. They are caused by a number of reasons including poor electrolyte balance such as low potassium, calcium, or sodium; the muscles are dysfunctional due to myofascial trigger points; muscles are over-worked/stressed; or even emotional distress. Massage therapy is a great treatment for cramps/spasms when electrolyte imbalance is not involved. The massage therapist can relieve trigger points in muscles and relieve stress upon them using Neuromuscular Therapy and a special set of stretching techniques called Muscle Energy Technique.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS is often caused by overworking muscles in eccentric contractions. In other words trying to contract the muscle while it is lengthening. Negative reps in weight lifting are an example of a cause of DOMS as is running down hill while trying to maintain a slower pace. DOMS is not currently believed by researchers to be caused by lactic acid, but almost all researchers say that massage therapy is valuable in decreasing the pain from DOMS and helping with recovery.
This painful, full-body, condition is characterized by pain, sleeplessness, decreased range of motion in joints, tender points, and sometimes depression. Fibromyalgia often goes through cycles of "flare-up" and remission that make it difficult for the sufferer to manage their condition. People with Fibromyalgia suffer from pain that is quite real. Massage therapy is quite effective in managing pain and dysfunction in Fibromyalgia. Some Fibromyalgia sufferers have even been able to reduce or eliminate some medications (with doctor approval) due to receiving regular massage therapy. Read more about Massage for Fibromyalgia Pain
Foot pain is very often relieved by massage therapy. Sources of foot pain include pain from muscles of the foot and of the lower leg, particularly the calves. By addressing the soft tissue sources of pain the massage therapist can help relieve foot pain. Read more massage therapy for Plantar Fasciitis foot and heel pain.
Just ask any doctor, most headaches are from muscular tension. Even some headaches labeled as "migraine" or "cluster" headaches are actually from muscular tension and muscular pain referral from "myofascial trigger points", especially from the neck and shoulders. Massage Therapy is usually very effective in relieving headache pain on a long-term basis. Read more about massage therapy for Headache and Migraine Pain
Although there are many causes for Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), stress, anxiety, and muscular tension can be a part of the problem. Massage therapy can help reduce stress and anxiety, and reduce muscular tension to help control or lower some forms of High Blood Pressure. Ask your doctor if massage therapy might help you.
The causes of Low Back Pain are as diverse as the people who suffer from it. No other problem causes as much lost time at work or as much suffering. Low Back Pain is very often muscular in nature and responds very well to massage therapy and bodywork treatment. Don't be surprised however if the massage therapist tells you that problems with abdominal muscles, hips, or even lower legs and feet may be contributing factors in your low back pain or making it worse.
Neck pain and/or stiffness affects millions of people. There are many causes of neck pain including "sleeping wrong", poor ergonomics at work, or various injuries. In most cases the muscles of the neck and upper back are the problem although postural issues farther down may be causing the problem. Massage therapy is very effective at relieving neck pain and restoring full range of motion.
Piriformis Syndrome is the name of a painful nerve entrapment condition in which the sciatic nerve is placed under abnormal pressure by the piriformis muscle. When the piriformis muscle becomes tight and enlarged, pain results from myofascial trigger points (knots) in the muscle, pressure on the sciatic nerve, and sometimes from the S-I Joint in the low back. Pain from Piriformis Syndrome is usually found in the extreme low back, buttocks, hip, and often the back of the thigh. Most of the time the symptoms are on one side, but may affect both sides in some cases. Additionally, people with Piriformis Syndrome often have trouble sitting for long periods and the pain may worsen when walking or squatting. Massage therapy and bodywork a very effective in relieving the pain from Piriformis Syndrome. ARTICLE
Foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis is often relieved by massage therapy. Sources of foot pain include pain from muscles of the foot and of the lower leg, particularly the calves. By addressing the soft tissue sources of pain the massage therapist can help relieve foot pain. Read more about massage therapy for Plantar Fasciitis foot and heel pain.
Sciatica is a painful condition in which the roots of nerves leading to the back of the leg are abnormally compressed by the spinal disks. This condition is characterized by pain and/or numbness down the back of the leg often as far as the foot. Although, it is often thought that herniated or bulging disks are the problem behind sciatica they often are not. Abnormally tight muscles in the low back can cause sciatica symptoms as can muscles in the buttocks area which can press on the sciatic nerve. There are even muscles which "refer" their pain in a pattern which mimicks sciatica. In these cases Massage Therapy, particularly Neuromuscular Therapy, can often minimize or even eliminate the pain and numbness. Read more about Sciatica
Muscular tension and pain often prevent people from sleeping well. Additionally, being stressed and in a "fight or flight" mode will prevent good sleep. Massage therapy is often just what is needed to sleep better. It can reduce muscular tension and pain as well as pull the plug on stress, letting you slow down and unwind for a good night's sleep.
If you've been diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal compressing the spinal cord or nerve roots, you've probably been looking for effective ways to treat it and lessen your symptoms which may include pain, numbness, weakness, and cramping. Massage Therapy and Bodywork provided by a skilled Licensed Massage Therapist is effective in treating a wide range of issues. In my practice I often treat clients experiencing pain from a number of painful conditions including Spinal Stenosis. MORE INFO
Characterized by pain and/or numbness from the neck or shoulder down the arm, this condition is actually from a number of potential sources. The syndrome may be caused by pressure on the nerve roots leading to the arm by muscles in the neck, by the clavicle (collar bone) and first rib, by a muscle of the chest called pectoralis minor, or a combination of all of them. Massage therapy, especially Neuromuscular Therapy, Ortho-Bionomy, and Myofascial release (in conjunction with your physician's care) are often completely successful in treating this syndrome. ARTICLE
Characterized by pain in the jaw, clicking when opening or closing the jaw, headaches and grinding of teeth, TMJ Dysfunction is no laughing matter. Many things can contribute to TMJ Dysfunction including missing teeth, trauma to the jaw from accidents or sporting events, stress, or even postural distortions. Massage therapy, in conjunction with care by your Dentist, can relieve tension and holding patterns in the muscles and connective tissues of the head, neck, and jaw to help normalize jaw function and relieve pain. Additionally, postural patterns which pre-dispose a person to jaw problems may be corrected by massage therapy.
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