Massage therapists use several techniques to work on different problem areas. A common issue for many people is neck and back pain. Massage therapy can also alleviate many of the issues associated with neck and back pain, such as inflammation, muscle aches, and limited flexibility. Read on to find out about different types of treatments that can help with this common problem.
Massage is a popular therapy used to relieve muscle tension, spasms, inflammation, fluid retention, aches, stiffness, and pain. Other benefits include improved circulation (blood and lymph), general flexibility, range of motion, and increased tissue elasticity (eg, scar tissue).
During treatment, the physical therapist or massage therapist may include localized massage (eg, low back or neck) as a prelude to exercise. Massage increases circulation and warms muscles and other soft tissues (eg, tendons, ligaments). Another type of massage includes full-body massage, which often leaves the patient feeling relaxed and free of anxiety.
How Does Massage Work to Relax Muscles?
As the therapist uses his or her hands or specialized tools to rhythmically knead, rub, and stroke (effluerage) muscles, circulation is stimulated. Blood flow delivers oxygen and nutrients and is key to helping muscles eliminate waste products, such as lactic acid, that may collect in muscles from spasms causing pain.