Are you struggling with muscle and joint pain and want a natural way to give you some relief? It may be time to consider some types of massage therapy. It’s known that 88 percent of consumers find that massage is effective for them in reducing pain.
Moreover, 50 million more patients are discussing massage therapy with their doctors than the previous year.
With this in mind, read on to learn about all the types of massage that can help you with muscle and joint pain.
Is Massage for Pain Effective?
Massage for pain is a great alternative care option for people who are looking for a multi-disciplinary treatment plan. Different types of massage for nonspecific chronic pain are especially helpful. They can:
- Provide mental and physical relaxation that relieves pain
- Increase the oxygenation of strained muscles
- Help increase your pain threshold through the release of serotonin
- Improve the flexibility of muscles
Massage can be helpful for people who are experiencing chronic pain from the overuse of muscles. Muscle tension or weakness can also be a result of improper posture, sprain, or your body trying to compensate for earlier injuries.
Consistent massages may even result in fewer visits with your doctor if you’re able to find relief.
Types of Massage Therapy
If you’ve ever wondered about the best type of massage for lower back pain or the best type of massage for sciatica, we’re here to help answer those questions. It’s important to give a few different types of massage a try so that you can determine what the best method is for you.
This is one of the most popular types of massage and is known for its ability to help release cramped muscles. This is the best choice for people who have chronic pain across nearly their entire body.
Experienced practitioners use a number of techniques, such as:
- Effleurage that includes long sweeping strokes
- Rolling and kneading muscles through petrissage
- Light tapping that can be energizing or relaxing
Swedish massage is also good if you experience chronic tension in your body and need a way to release the stress you hold in your body.
Deep Tissue Massage
If you have chronic pain in specific areas such as your neck, shoulders, or back, this may be the best option for you. It’s important to remember that deep tissue massage isn’t for everyone because a great amount of pressure is applied in order to reach as far down into the muscle as possible.
This deep pressure can help release knots as well as ease scar tissue. Make sure that you receive a deep tissue massage through a qualified, experienced therapist.
They can vary their levels of pressure depending on what’s comfortable for you, but they’re also able to determine what would be the most effective level of pressure.
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point massage is even more targeted than deep tissue massage. Your therapist will focus on finding and massage trigger points in your muscles that tend to cause pain in other areas of your body.
Trigger point massage may not be as relaxing as Swedish massage because massaging those points can be uncomfortable and even painful at first. You may also need to stretch your body or change your position so that those points can be effectively stretched, massaged, and treated.
Of course, it’s always important to be vocal with your therapist and let them know if your discomfort or pain is too much for you to handle.
Sometimes it can be hard to identify specific trigger points that are causing localized pain. If this is the case, then the next recommendation is to try out myofascial release therapy. The fascia is a thin layer of connective tissue that covers all of the muscles in your body.
Normally, myofascia should feel pliable. As your therapist gently massages you, they’ll identify areas that feel more rigid than others. They’ll use light, manual pressure in order to stretch and relax those areas until they feel a release of pressure.
It’s important to note that these rigid areas may not be anywhere near your localized pain. Unlike deep tissue massage, the goal of myofascial release is to relax a broader area of muscles in order to release trigger points in the area that may be causing the pain.
This can be especially helpful for people who experience chronic headaches, migraines, or venous insufficiency.
Last but not least, craniosacral therapy has the lightest touch out of all the massage types. The light, gentle touch that your therapist uses during this therapy is meant to stimulate the soft tissues around your central nervous system.
These soft-touch techniques release tension and restrictions that may be affecting the brain or spinal cord.
Because this therapy encourages movement of the cerebrospinal fluid, it’s a good option for people that are suffering whole-body pain symptoms.
Finding Relief for Muscle and Joint Pain
Learning about the different types of massage will help you along in your journey to finding relief for chronic pain. For instance, you may have had Swedish massages in the past but felt that the therapist didn’t apply enough pressure to fully relieve your muscle tightness or pain. If that’s the case, then a deep tissue massage or trigger point massage may be the right option for you.
On the other hand, if you’re dealing with fibromyalgia or other pain that doesn’t have a clear origin point, the light touch of myofascial release or craniosacral therapy may be much better options.
Ready to explore more ways to deal with chronic pain? Keep reading our blog for more information.