Massage therapy has been around for thousands of years.
Chinese writings that date back to 2500 BC describe using massage for a number of different medical purposes so it’s clear that people have been enjoying its benefits for a long, long time.
But the positive effects of massage, both physical and psychological, have only recently been backed up by scientific research. A 2004 study, for example, concludes that a course of massage therapy can provide lasting pain relief and could also help with anxiety and depression.
Which form of massage is most effective for back and shoulder pain?
Sports massage, a firm, targeted form of therapy that focuses on the soft tissues, is one of the most powerful ways to deal with back and shoulder aches and pains. It can be incredibly effective for amateur and professional athletes as well as people who do not exercise regularly.
Also known as deep tissue massage, sports massage can be highly effective in dealing with:
- Reducing pain
- Relieving tension and stiffness
- Preventing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), the stiff, painful feeling that can develop hours or days after especially strenuous or unfamiliar exercise
(Check our Blog 4 reasons you need to try a sports massage)
Sports massage therapy techniques can also fill you with a sense of wellbeing because they encourage your body to release the mood-enhancing chemicals serotonin and dopamine. This helps you to feel more relaxed and less anxious.
With back and shoulder massage from an experienced, talented sports massage therapist you could:
- Finally get your life back to normal by dealing with your back or shoulder problem
- Give yourself the best possible chance of making a full recovery
- Try to stop the constant worry that your back is going to play you up
2 back and shoulder massage tips from the professionals
To give you an idea of what you should expect from a first-class sports massage therapist, here are 2 back and shoulder massage tips from the Synergy Physiotherapy team:
- Pain and discomfort does not always come from the muscles
In many cases, pain and discomfort comes from the “fascia”, which are strong, stretchy, slippery lengths of connective tissue that create sheaths around each muscle.
Fascia hold muscles in place, allow them to move smoothly against each other and help transmit forces from one part of the body to the other.
They can lose elasticity because of things like physical trauma or poor posture, which can lead to motion-limiting tightness in the fascia and the muscles they surround.
In this situation, experienced sports massage therapists can help you by performing specific myofascial release technique, using their hands or fingers to apply forces in opposite directions to gently stretch the fascia.
These techniques are vital in restoring the function of the fascia and reducing the associated feeling of tightness and tension.
- “Trigger points” are a key cause of neck and shoulder pain
Trigger points, also known as muscle “knots”, are highly sensitive small patches of contracted muscle fibres.
The pain from these tiny localised knots can spread over a wider area of the muscle and can even cause “referred pain” in other parts of the body.
With trigger point therapy, sports massage therapists use their thumbs to apply intense, sustained pressure to the trigger point to “unlock” the knots and relieve the pain.
Such specific, specialised techniques help to explain why sports massage therapy is more effective for back and neck pain than the primarily relaxing massages you would get in a spa or beauty treatment centre.
Free online consultation
Please don’t take any chances with your back pain: we’re offering you a free, expert online consultation with an experienced Synergy Physiotherapist.
We’ll talk to you about how your back problem is affecting your everyday life and then tell you exactly how we could help you to get the old you back. Just click below, enter you details, and one of our Specialists will give you a call back to confirm your booking.