Pain is often your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. When the cause of pain is treated, the pain itself subsides. However, what happens when the cause is treated but the pain does not go away? This is a common condition that is referred to as Chronic Pain Syndrome. In fact, any pain that lasts for 3-6 months after an injury is healed is referred to as Chronic Pain.
Chronic Pain Syndrome is a debilitating condition that many people live with. In fact, 60.8% of patients who have chronic pain report also experiencing symptoms of depression. While there are no solid treatments for this syndrome, clinical massage therapy has proven to be a good way to manage the symptoms and feel more at ease.
What are the causes of chronic pain?
Chronic pain can be caused by different underlying problems. Some of these are as follows:
- Osteoarthritis: This is one of the most common causes of chronic pain. It’s a type of arthritis in which the bone cartilage is damaged irreparably due to wear and tear.
- Back pain: Back pain can sometimes be persistent, even when there has not been a recent trauma to the back.
- Fibromyalgia: This is a disorder of the nervous system due to which one feels pain throughout the body, especially at specific trigger points.
- Surgical trauma
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This is the inflammation of joints and can be very painful.
- Inflammatory bowel disease: This is a digestive disorder and causes intestinal pains and cramps.
What is clinical massage therapy?
Clinical massage therapy is a type of massage that manipulates the muscles and soft tissues so that multiple symptoms such as fatigue, tension, stress, and pain can be reduced. It is believed that clinical massage brings positive results to patients who have chronic pain. It not only helps reduce the pain, but also reduces the stress and depression associated with the condition.
How does clinical massage therapy help with chronic pain management?
Clinical massage therapy offers a range of benefits to those suffering from chronic pain. Some of these benefits include:
1. Better lymphatic drainage
One of the effects of massage is that it increases the blood flow to different parts of the body. As a result, the lymphatic system also experiences better circulation, leading to faster and more efficient lymphatic drainage.
What this means is that all the harmful toxins from your body are removed. When these harmful toxins are removed, it helps reduce the symptoms of chronic pain, thereby leading to a more comfortable feeling for the patient.
2. Removes physical stress
Physical stress makes all your muscles tense up, and also initiates the fight or flight response in the brain. What this does is that it sends more blood and oxygen to the areas of the body that are involved in the fight or flight response. As a result, other body parts do not get the required oxygen and blood.
Constantly being in that state physically can cause the muscles to tighten up and the soft tissues to feel more tension. This can increase the overall pain in the body, making it very difficult for patients with chronic pain syndrome to manage. When you go for a session of clinical massage therapy, these tight muscles are forced to relax. As a result, the tension dissipates and so does the pain.
3. Decreases mental stress and depression
Your moods are dictated by different hormones that are released by your body. When you get a deep tissue massage or a clinical massage, your cortisol levels decrease by 31%. Cortisol is the stress hormone, so this means that getting regular massages can reduce your stress. Additionally, studies have shown that when you get a massage, the levels of dopamine and serotonin increase by 31% and 28% respectively.
Both hormones play a significant role in regulating our moods. In other words, regular massage can make you feel happy and emotionally stable. Since depression and anxiety are quite commonly found in people with chronic pain syndrome, this can be quite helpful for them.
Amanda Byers is a graduate of Columbia, where she played volleyball and annoyed a lot of professors. Now as Zobuz’s entertainment and Lifestyle Editor, she enjoys writing about delicious BBQ, outrageous style trends and all things Buzz worthy.