Breaking the Pain Cycle

pain cycle diagramA recent study conducted at the Center on an Aging Society at Georgetown University found that back pain is the most common cause of workdays lost in the US. It is the 2ndmost common cause of visits to the doctor’s office and experts estimate that 80% of the population will have a back pain issue at some point in their lives. Not only are we a society in pain, but when it gets bad enough we lose work, money, and then have to pay in an attempt to relieve the pain. Many of us are currently facing these problems and are met with the question of how do I get better and how do I decrease the likelihood that the pain will return. One answer is understanding and breaking the pain cycle.

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Top 5 Reasons Massage is a Great Gift

Whether it’s Mother’s Day, a birthday, or just a “really wanted to show you I care” opportunity, massage makes a great gift. Here are the top five reasons you might want to consider offering mom (or any other significant person in your life) a wonderful massage experience.

  1. An hour of “me time”: In today’s hectic world of gym, work, eat, sleep, repeat it’s hard to take a moment and just “be”. Did you know almost HALF of the working population doesn’t take vacation? One of the most welcomed gifts you can give someone is time. Time to rest. Time to disconnect. Time to breathe. Massage presents an opportunity for an hour (or more) of blissful quiet.
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Reduce Chronic Pain

Pain affects every facet of daily life, our work, our attitude, our relationships, and our outlook on our future. For some, controlling pain with medications results in unpleasant side effects. Americans are reaching out in record numbers to find the best options for pain relief without the unpredictability traditional medicine. The CDC reports that the top four reasons adults used traditional medicines were to treat pain including back pain or problems, neck pain or problems, joint pain or stiffness/other joint condition, arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions.

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Dealing With Phone Neck and Text Neck

There are more than 2.19 trillion texts sent each year by US mobile phone users. And massage therapists, chiropractors and medical professional are seeing a drastic uptick in the number of people seeking help for the “pain in the neck” texting, and sandwiching their phone between their neck and shoulder gives them.

More than 60% of Americans admit they might not talk to a medical professional if they were suffering from chronic pain. And according to AOA surveys, neck pain is number three most commonly experienced chronic pain (behind lower back pain and arthritis) with about 25% of experiencing the quintessential “pain in the neck”.

There can be many causes of neck pain, including poor posture while standing or sitting, using a crazy old/improper pillow when you sleep, hyperextended neck muscles due to injury or accident, or heavy lifting. And then there’s the phone.

The issue with phones

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Biofreeze or Ice?

bioiceAnyone who has ever suffered a bump, bruise, sprain, strain or other injury likely knows that ice works well to relieve pain. Modern day cryotherapy (cold therapy) offers more options than the traditional ice bag. So when is it appropriate to seek pain relief from natural cold therapy compounds like Biofreeze and when is a good old bag of ice called for?

The purpose of cold therapy is primarily to reduce swelling, to lower skin temperature, and to desensitize and temporarily deaden pain receptors around the muscles and skin involved in an injury.

What is Biofreeze?

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What is Deep Tissue Massage, Really?

What is deep tissue and how is it beneficial?

Many people think “deep tissue” means “huge amounts of pressure” and “it should hurt a lot”.  The fact is, deep tissue really means neither of those.  True deep tissue work is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning and invigorating layers of muscle and connective tissue that are deeper inside the body. With deep tissue, the therapist can use specialized techniques to reach muscles positioned “under” or “behind” surface muscles.

Deep tissue is especially helpful for chronic aches and pains and issues like a stiff neck and/or shoulders, sore upper back, low back pain tight leg muscles, and more.

According to the August 2005 issue of Consumer Reports magazine, 34,000 people ranked deep tissue massage more effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain than physical therapy, exercise, prescription medications, chiropractic, acupuncture, diet, glucosamine and over-the-counter drugs.

What happens during the session?

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Waiting for Wellness

Every single day, a runner tweaks a muscle, an active adult injures a shoulder,  someone shackled to a computer gets a pain in their wrist or finger and someone wakes up from a restless night of sleep with back, neck or shoulder pain. Some attempt to “walk it off”, some race to a doctor or grab an over-the-counter pain reliever.  Others just wait, hoping the pain will go away on it’s own.

You Don’t Have to Wait for Wellness

In each of the aforementioned cases, massage can usually make a significant, noticeable difference in your level of pain or discomfort, and often speeds healing of the traumatized area.  Add a well-trained massage therapist who listens to your needs, performs exemplary work, and coaches you on home-care activities and you’ve got a wellness program that works. Continue reading “Waiting for Wellness”