Anyone who suffers from chronic neck pain knows the incredible relief of a good massage.
Aside from the obvious element of a neck massage simply “feeling good”, there’s actually some scientific reasons behind why it can bring such a sensation of release and reduce the unpleasant symptoms that accompany many neck pain issues.
As far as massage goes toward treating neck pain, we’ve uncovered some pretty promising results.
Here, we discuss the elements that contribute to neck pain, and how massage can be a shining beacon of light in your treatment path...
What Causes Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain causes the body's stress levels to rise, keeping our nerves in a constant 'fight or flight' state. This increased release of cortisol sends messages throughout our body to be always on alert.
While it’s important for our bodies to alert us to an injury or area of disease, this warning system also triggers other parts of the body in response. It can cause them to be over-utilized, leading to several consequential symptoms to follow.
When the body is under stress or in pain:
- Muscles become tight, causing a lack of mobility over time
- Fatigue is increased due to the prolonged toll of the stress
- Difficulty sleeping is inevitable, exacerbating fatigue
- Psychological distress can arise
- Digestive issues can result due to increased stress levels
How Can Massage Help My Chronic Neck Pain?
Chronic neck pain can be a difficult hurdle to overcome. To ensure our quality of life, reclaim our mobility, and sleep restfully at night, it's essential to incorporate activities that contribute to relief from neck pain.
So, how can massage assist with this?
Massage increases blood flow to sore neck muscles, attracting our body’s powerful immune response to heal damage on a cellular level.
Massage stimulates lymphatic drainage, removing toxins from the affected area that contribute to pain and fatigue.
Massage reduces inflammation, in turn minimizing painful swelling and pressure to the inflamed neck muscles.
Massage powerfully combines these three therapeutic processes to help speed up your healing process, reducing pain and fighting fatigue, working together in a systematic approach to bring effective relief.
First, increased blood flow stimulates the body’s healing response. This stimulated circulation in turn activates the lymphatic system, which removes the toxins generated by the body’s repairing process.
The subsequent lymphatic drainage aids in the reduction of inflammation. Drainage of the swelling and toxins is vital, as inflammation can come with its own set of adverse side effects: Which includes worsening chronic pain symptoms.
Daily massage allows us to frequently and regularly stimulate repair, tackle inflammation and reduce painful symptoms, and by repeating these healing efforts on a consistent basis, will render promising results.
Massage as a Scientifically Proven Treatment
Studies have repeatedly shown the correlation between massage and reduction of chronic pain, and that it unequivocally exists.
For instance, a recent study took two groups of participants experiencing chronic pain in their hands that created limitations in their day-to-day activities. Participants were instructed to massage their hands daily, for at least four days out of the week.
After a month concluded, they reported feeling lower levels of anxiety and depression, improved ability and strength within their hands, and a better night's rest.
This study demonstrates a beneficial correlation between massage and chronic pain. Participants noticed an immediate improvement compared to those in the second group who were not using daily massage and did not report any pain changes.
Scientists also support the “Gate Control Theory” that believes massage can close the “pain gate” by basically blocking the brain's ability to read pain messages. According to this theory, massage means that the sensory information must access several “gates” within our nervous system before reaching the brain.
These “gates” allow pain signals to pass towards the mind to elicit a response (or deny access) and cause the message to be blocked.
Massaging these larger nerve fibers closest to the skin's surface causes another sensation to occur, ultimately disrupting the pain signal by “closing the gate” on that message.
When massage therapy is combined with other treatments to help alleviate psychological distress, it has the opportunity to give successful pain relief to patients.
How Much Pressure Should I Have For My Neck Massages?
As there are varying degrees of chronic neck pain, there are also different degrees of approaching a neck massage.
Some individuals may experience pain during a massage and require a very light touch. Know that this lighter amount of pressure is okay, and it's a matter of what is most tolerable and the most beneficial approach to alleviate your individual symptoms.
To tailor your massage pressure perfectly to your neck pain needs, the Slabway Full Body Massage Chair has you covered.
- Adjust the intensity of your massage to work up or down from your perfect pressure
- Smart roller system conforms to your neck’s specific contours and shape
- Vibration and Air Pressure functions stimulate blood flow and lymphatic drainage
Our whole body can benefit from the therapeutic relief of daily massage, and can be especially helpful if we’re dealing with chronic neck pain.
Take the hard work of massaging your sore neck out of your hands, and entrust the important job to the Slabway massage chair for effective daily pain relief.
Relieving chronic neck pain through daily massage is easy, effective and thoroughly enjoyable.
You’ll not only be releasing tension in your neck muscles, mitigating pain and encouraging rapid healing, but also enjoying daily massages to soothe all your other senses too!
Slabway Wellness Consultant