For many people, joint pain and muscle stiffness are a daily nuisance. Joints in the hands, wrists and feet get stiff and sometimes painful to move. Sometimes it’s hard to get up out of a chair or button a shirt. Or you might have a nagging lower back ache, or that shoulder that just won’t relax. The good news is that relief may come from something you may have never considered–massage.
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.
Chronic headaches are one of the most common complaints made to healthcare professionals each year. Headaches are most often treated with over-the-counter or prescription medication. While these treatments are effective, they can be a temporary solution for a chronic problem.
Most headaches fall into one of two categories: tension and migraine. Tension headaches can be caused by stress, dehydration, muscle spasms, trigger points, eye strain, hormonal changes, neck misalignment, or TMJ.
Muscles make up, on average, between 36-42% of your body weight. With that much mass, they have a significant impact on your health. When all is in working order, muscles allow you to perform normal activities with ease. When your muscles experience trigger points (also known as “muscle knots”), you can experience pain, stiffness, tension, a loss in your range of motion and sometimes severe limitations of your normal function.
Trigger points are an extremely common cause of pain. There are more than 600 potential trigger points possible in human muscles. Light pressure to active trigger points reproduces the pain and gives the therapist a clue as to where to look for the cause. Trigger points have a special property called referred pain. Referred pain means that a trigger point in one muscle can actually create pain in another area.