Massage therapy for neck and shoulder pain

By: Shairoz Lalani RMT 

As a Registered Massage Therapist, neck and shoulder pain is a common complaint that patients present with.

Common causes of neck and shoulder pain are: strained muscles (from over use or improper use), repetitive strain injuries, whiplash, poor posture, computer use, sports injuries, chronic tension, stress and illness.

Other symptoms associated with neck and shoulder pain are: headaches, numbness and tingling in the arms and hands, decreased range of motion, tenderness and weakness.

Vigorous exercise, as well as injuries, cause tiny tears in the muscle fibers, which lead to inflammation in the muscles, resulting in pain.  Anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce pain and inflammation, but don’t do anything to address the source of the problem.  Massage Therapy helps to decrease inflammation in the muscles, as well as speed up cell/muscle recovery.  Massage Therapy helps improve circulation and reduce muscle tightness, thereby reducing pain.

It is possible to experience post massage tenderness in the muscles, which may seem contradictory to getting a massage to alleviate pain.  A professional massage is more intense than an ordinary backrub. We are trained to find your problem areas and work the areas thoroughly.  This can be as intense as a workout itself, and your body has to adapt to the changes taking place.  The discomfort should not last for more than a day or two.

It is important to provide feedback to your RMT during the treatment.  It is normal to experience some discomfort during treatment, but techniques and pressure can be modified to increase your comfort level.

I personally believe that relaxation is a fundamental component to healing.  As a result, even though I provide treatment-oriented massage, rather than just a feel good, relaxation massage, my goal is to keep you as relaxed as possible during treatment, so your body can assimilate the full benefits of the treatment.



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