Sunday, November 20, 2016

Common Body Aches and How Massage Therapy Can Help

Working in the health field, I deal with a lot of different "complaints" in my treatment room. Although pain can manifest anywhere in the body, most of my clients come in with issues that surround two areas. 

If you've ever heard that people can "hold their stress" in certain areas of the body, it's true; literally! When you are anxious, stressed or feeling uptight, you tighten up your muscles. The tight muscles pull and can put strain on nerves, joints and bones. This can also be caused by having poor posture and repeating the same movements over long periods of time. 

When my clients are in pain, the first place I expect to hear about it is in their neck and shoulders. This is such a sensitive area that is affected by everything we do. Jobs that require sitting at a computer, holding a child, painting, and texting (!) are just some examples of positions that can put stress on your muscles. I often say that it's way too easy to throw yourself off balance. All you have to do is scrub the shower or have a nice nap on the couch and BOOM, you wake up and can't move your neck. I regularly see clients who have so much tension in their neck that they are experiencing chronic headaches. Those tight muscles can also press on nerves and cause a tingly feeling in your arms or other connecting areas. 

The second most popular area to feel pain is in the lower back. This is usually combined with either pain or problems surrounding the hips and gluteal (butt) muscles. As humans, our bodies are not made to sit as much as we do. I see these issues in people who have office, driving, or other jobs that require sitting for many hours. This pain can also come about from the position of your hips being off or the structure of your feet. Your hip flexors and gluteal muscles become too tight and need massage and/or stretching. When your butt muscles are tight, it often presses on your sciatic nerve and sends shooting pain down your bum and leg. Ouch! 

When we massage these areas, it helps ease pain and takes the pressure off of other structures in your body. It brings circulation and warmth to your knots and tight muscles which creates a healing response. Massage over long periods of time can help correct posture and completely relieve you of your pain! My clients comment that after a massage they have less pain, more range of motion and they sleep better at night. 

The next time you are in pain or feeling tight, try a booking with a massage therapist. You never know what is causing your issues and a massage could completely relieve them for you. Not only will you come out feeling better, but you will sleep like a baby and wake up refreshed and ready to take on the world. :)