According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as many as 20% of Americans currently experience chronic pain in some form or another. Defined as pain that persists for more than six months, it is becoming more common (and much more dangerous) to be treated with medication.
As the current opioid epidemic in the United States shows no signs of slowing down, alternatives to potentially dangerous and addictive medications are more important than ever. If you are one of the millions of people currently suffering, try these five types of massage therapy for chronic pain.
1. Deep Tissue Massage
Perfect for patients with chronic muscle problems, a deep tissue massage combines heavy finger pressure with long, slow strokes in order to relieve the tension located deep within the muscle fibers and connective tissues. While your massage therapist may warn you that this is not a very good method for patients sensitive to being touched, it is one of the best ways for alleviating the pain felt deep within the muscles. After what may feel like an intense 60-90 minutes, the experience should leave you feeling pain-free with minimal soreness.
2. Thai Massage
A little more active than a standard deep tissue massage, the Thai massage incorporates movements that stretch the entire body in a fashion similar to yoga poses. Make sure to wear clothing that is both comfortable and loose, as your massage therapist will be stretching and twisting your body into lots of different positions over the course of 60-90 minutes. The entire experience should leave you with higher energy levels, increased flexibility as well as improved circulation.
3. Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point massages are more beneficial for patients recovering from a specific injury or condition. Confined areas of muscle tightness or inflammation, also known as trigger points, are commonly found to be the cause of pain elsewhere in the body. Utilizing a combination of strong, deep pressure and long, flowing strokes, your therapist will seek out these trigger points and attempt to eliminate the problems at their source. After 60-90 minutes of what can sometimes feel quite intense, any pain felt at the beginning of the session will likely be significantly reduced.
4. Hot Stone Massage
Far less intense than the deep tissue, Thai and trigger point massages, a hot stone massage is for the patient experiencing chronic pain or tension that just wants to relax. In addition to applying gentle pressure with the hands, your massage therapist will position heated stones over different areas of your entire body in order to increase blood flow and reduce pain. Usually lasting around 90 minutes, this massage is a great way to relieve stress and promote relaxation by easing built up tension within the muscles.
5. Sports Massage
Another great option for alleviating pain due to a prior injury is a sports massage. Although it should be obvious from the name, sports massages are typically sought after by patients suffering from chronic pain resulting from a sporting injury. Conducted over 60-90 minutes, these massages incorporate soothing strokes with deep pressure and may target a specific area or be applied to the entire body. If you’re not sure which kind of massage is right for you, a call to Michigan Chiropractic Specialists for information on massage therapy for chronic pain in West Bloomfield, MI will ensure you receive the best possible customer service.