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Over 37 million Americans routinely suffer from headaches. There are many reasons for this (e.g. genes, environment, lifestyle) but the one thing they all have in common is they want relief. Research suggests that massage is one of the best forms of relief available here.
Common Types of Headaches
When your head hurts you may think that everyone else’s head hurts in the same exact way that yours does. However, this isn’t the case. There are several different types of pain that a person can suffer from here, including:
- Cluster are more common in men. Typically, these occur at night and start with little to no warning. Once they begin, they’ll last for anywhere from 6 – 12 weeks. Sometimes they’re seasonal. Symptoms include a painful, red, or droopy eye, facial swelling, sweating. The headache itself will only last 15 minutes – 3 hours.
- Sinuses in your forehead, cheekbones, and nose can swell up due to allergies causing pressure to mount and sinus difficulties to form.
- Tension is a very common cause of head problems. The pain is typically mild and occurs on both sides of your head. They can easily be treated by taking over-the-counter medication.
- Vascular head issues cause a pounding feeling in your head. These will last three or four hours at a time.
- Classic migraines cause blurred vision, auras, and auditory hallucinations. These will make you feel weak and numb. They’re typically caused by stress, food, medication, and not enough sleep.
- Aura-less migraines generally cause throbbing pain on one side of your head and light sensitivity. They can last for several hours to several days.
Common Treatment Modalities
Once you’ve discovered what type of headache you’re most likely suffering from, it’s time to decide on which treatment modality will work best for you. The ones that have shown the most promise include:
- Deep tissue is a technique whereby firm pressure and slow strokes are used to reach deep muscle layers and help them relax. Your therapist will make deep, gliding movements using either their knuckles or their thumbs. Since it’s applied to your head it’ll help with any pain in this part of your body. Studies have shown that this will alleviate suboccipital muscle spasms, which lie at the root of your head pain.
- Trigger point technique is like the deep tissue technique in that your strained muscles are relaxed when you apply direct pressure to the muscles that are in the area where a patient’s primary pain is found (e.g. around a patient’s eyes, at their temples).
- Neuromuscular technique specifically pinpoints and releases trigger points (a.k.a. stiff muscles). This can help a therapist get directly to the source. However, it’s vital that the right amount of pressure be used and to only work on one side of a patient’s head at a time so that each muscle receives proper treatment.
When you’re ready to take a proactive stance against your headaches by getting a massage, make sure you contact Maria’s Professional Massage. Maria is an experienced therapist with numerous years of training and experience. You can’t go wrong with her so give her a call today
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DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is significantly decreased if you’re able to receive a massage after engaging in strenuous exercise. You’ll also notice that your creatinine level will drop, and your muscles will be enabled to perform better. These are all things that have been proven by a recent research study entitled “Massage Alleviates Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness After Strenuous Exercise: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” In this study 11 previously published research studies on this topic were reviewed. In doing so, over 500 participants were included within this research.
Getting a Massage After a Workout vs. Your Usual Care
Each of the studies that was included within this meta-analysis consisted of a randomized controlled trial. In each of these trials the comparison between receiving this treatment modality and receiving no care or any type of intervention after exercising was looked at. Some of the other things that were considered here include outcome measures. For this it was important that participants reported a primary feeling of muscle soreness or pain. Secondarily, it was also important that muscle performance and serum creatine kinase be measurable.
Techniques used for the post-exercise massage were 8 types that are used in Sweden as well as the technique that’s traditionally used in China. In each study the body area or muscle region that the technique was used upon varied. This is also true of the duration: The area being focused on let researchers to determine whether the technique was used for anywhere between 6 – 30 minutes at a time.
Timing and frequency also varied depending upon which study you look at. For instance, directly follow eccentric exercise participants in one study received 10 minutes of treatment. This was repeated again 24 hours later. However, in another study the 17 minutes of treatment wasn’t repeated until 48 hours later.
Regardless as to which study was consulted, participants who received treatment reported that they felt like their muscles were significantly less sore afterwards. This was especially true when compared to those who received no intervention whatsoever. The amount of improvement regarding how sore a person’s muscles feel also increased when treatment occurred 48 – 72 hours after an intense workout instead of 24 hours afterwards. In fact, this study discovered that the largest drop in people with sore muscles occurred when treatment was received 48 hours after the participant worked out. These participants also demonstrated a marked decrease in creatine kinase, especially when compared to those who didn’t receive any treatment. The one similarity that occurred between all groups regardless of when they received treatment was that both their maximal isometric force and their peak torque improved.
When you’re searching for an effective way in which to alleviate DOMS, you should consider this type of an intervention. After all, this report demonstrates that treatment won’t only help alleviate muscle soreness but it’ll also help your muscles perform better the next time you exercise.
Now that you know how to properly care for your muscle soreness, make sure you contact Maria’s Professional Massage and make an appointment for after your next workout session.
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You’d probably do anything to help your sore muscles feel better. What you may not realize though is that there are some tools available that will help you get some relief. While a massage is great, these tools can help release any knots you have in your muscles.
Shopping for the Right Tools
When you go online to shop for these tools it’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole since there are a lot of gadgets that don’t only look weird but are also available in a wide array of shapes and sizes. While you can find a lot of high-tech tools here (e.g. solar-powered, heated, diffusing social oils) the low-tech ones are surprisingly effective including things like:
- Foam rollers are a simple tube-shaped cylinder that’s made from dense foam. It helps relieve back pain, but you must choose the right foam density first. If you’re in great shape, a very hard roller may be just what you need. However, there are also softer rollers that have a little more give to them. Once you’ve made your choice you should place your roller under your trigger points then lie down on it so that your body weight can press the roller into these tight spots on your back. Try not to wiggle around to much. Instead, when the roller is properly placed, stay put so that the steady pressure that’s being placed on your back eases up. If this doesn’t work, you may want to move the roller slightly above or below your trigger point. A little discomfort is normal regardless of the roller’s placement, but when you’re done your muscles will feel more relaxed.
- Rubber lacrosse balls are better than a foam roller for any neck or shoulder discomfort you may be suffering from since you don’t need to be a contortionist to use them properly. Nevertheless, these lacrosse balls work in much the same way that a foam roller works on your back. You should try to reach the knots in your neck and shoulders while you’re lying on the floor, but if this doesn’t work you should try to stand by a wall then lean back against your lacrosse balls. You may need to be a bit creative here.
When to use Massage Tools
Once you’ve chosen a tool you should use it consistently – 5 or 6 times daily for 3 – 5 minutes each time. This will provide you with the best results. However, you should never use these tools right before you work out. Since they provide you with a trigger point massage, they relax your muscles so if you exercise immediately after using them you’ve raised your risk of injury. Instead, try using them before going to sleep at night. All it takes is 10 minutes and you may even sleep better because of it.
When you’ve tried these tools and found that they’re not working for you, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Maria’s Professional Massage. Maria will have you feeling better soon so contact her today.
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More and more people are turning to various exercises as a way to get healthy. Many attend weekly yoga classes, others swim daily, and some find a combination of running and walking do the trick. However the more a person exercises, the more likely they are to develop an injury.
But the good news is there are ways to relieve pain when one does get injured. One of the key elements in feeling better is to have a sports massage done. The best kind of sport massage will include the use of topical pain relief products. These products can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
Those that use sport massage can find great relief when incorporating topical pain products into their healing schedule. A therapist could use a topical spray to the affected area. It can then be wrapped or kinesiology tape can be placed over it. The therapist may also recommend a therapeutic balm to nourish the skin overnight. This balm can also increase the circulation to the painful area, which will help to lessen the aches. The skin will also be soothed when it is rubbed in.
Sports massages work great with topical pain relief for many reasons. They contain a variety of ingredients (ginger, ho wood, and turmeric) that help to prevent muscle aches and stiffness. These ingredients also warm the aching muscles so they can relax and assist in increasing circulation to the area that is injured.
Other ingredients that work well with sports massages include witch hazel for diminishing pain and fatigue and arnica to help with pain and inflammation. Pain can also be managed with magnesium sulfate.
Chili pepper extract, known as Capsaicin, is a very effective ingredient for pain. This hot topical pain relief works well to soothe the area, causing an analgesic effect. Many receiving sports massages have excellent results with this product.
Sports massages can be done in a variety of ways. Fascia work is often done to open up different muscle groups. Lymphatic work can be done if the area is inflamed or swollen.
If you want a massage that allows the use of topical pain relievers, consider using kinetic chain release. In this sports massage, the person is fully clothed. Large areas that are injured, such as the back or shoulders, have a great effect when a sports massage is used in combination with topical pain relief.
If you have been injured while playing a sport or exercising, you know how painful it can be to heal. Sports massages can help one heal faster and bring relief. If you need a sports massage to help your pain, consider contacting Maria’s Professional Massage offers sports massages that utilize several techniques and modalities. Not only will you heal your body, but you will bring a sense of peace and relaxation to yourself, which is essential in today’s busy world!
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Massages are growing in popularity amongst people with a number of ailments or those who just want a better way to relax. A key question surrounding the efficacy of massages is, “Can Massage Relieve Pain?” For millions of people who suffer from chronic pain and for whom pain relievers are ineffective or high risk, options like massage may provide a good alternative to controlling their pain. Massage can help relax people, while reducing stress and relieving pain.
A recent systematic review in Pain Medicine substantiates these claims. By pooling 60 high-quality and seven low-quality studies, the review found that message therapy was superior to placebo in ailing pain. It also had the added benefit of a favorable safety profile which was very low in side effects (particularly in comparison to pharmacotherapy). There seem to be multiple mechanisms via which massages improve biomechanical, physiological, and psychological wellbeing. It truly is a lost art, having originally been described by Hippocrates, the father of medicine.
A question that always persists with massage therapy is how long and how often patients need to get it in order to sustain the pain relieving effect. A study by a group of researchers in Seattle looked at this research question and found that those who got massages for 60 minutes two or three times a week had the best results followed by those who have 30 minute massages of the same frequency which was better than no massages at all. If you try massage therapy and do not witness results, it may be time to consider increasing the frequency as that seems to make a difference. A massage therapist can likely help any individualized questions you may have regarding a regular regimen.
The effectiveness of massages has led even many traditional sites of care to start to adopt them. A survey by the American Hospital association found that 82% of hospitals offered massages to patients depending on what they were in for. The majority of these cases were used in order to help with pain relief.
Given the favorable risk-benefit profile of massage therapy and the comparable profile of prescription medications, it is a wonder that the massage trend did not take off earlier. As the United States faces an opioid addiction epidemic, massages are likely to continue to grow in favor with both patients and providers. Given the damage that drugs can do, it may well become first line therapy in time.
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