Best Kinds of Massage for Relieving Pain, What to Expect

A vast majority of individuals have experienced some form of chronic or acute pain, whether it’s an old workout injury, gradual wear and tear on the body, leftover effects from a surgical procedure or even an auto accident. Seemingly more vast than the ways pain attacks the body is the amount of medical treatments and products advertised as a miracle cure for all that ails us. Surprisingly, one of the best ways to relieve pain isn’t a modern-day ointment, rather a tradition with origins up to 5,000 years in the distant past – massage therapy. 


Massage therapy isn’t a new trend made up and pushed by health gurus. As distantly as 3,000 BCE in India, massage therapy was a multi-generational tradition used to heal injuries, promote healing, relieve pain, and prevent and cure illnesses. Now, through modern improvements, clinical trials and studies, we’ve only fully begun to understand massage therapies’ full benefits for relieving pain. 


This is only confirmed by the Harvard School of Medicine, which states that “therapeutic massage may relieve pain by way of several mechanisms, including relaxing painful muscles, tendons, and joints; relieving stress and anxiety; and possibly helping to “close the pain gate” by stimulating competing nerve fibers and impeding pain messages to and from the brain.”


With medical experts and studies all pointing to massage as an ideal way to reduce swelling, relieve pain and promote healing, it’s shocking the practice often one of the least talked about methods for treating painful conditions. This is in spite of the fact that massage is versatile and believed to be effective. Studies have indicated that massage therapy can be beneficial in addressing pain for critical pain points like the back, hands, neck, and knees and more. 


So, what kinds of massage are most effective? The answer is not straightforward and largely depends on which area or areas of the body are affected. It is always recommended to discuss any medical treatments or therapies with your physician beforehand.


Myofascial Release: Headaches, Leg Pain and more

Myofascial release, which is often done during a massage or chiropractor adjustment, gently pulses and pulls the skin to release tension in your muscle fibers or fascia or connective tissue in the body. It generally focuses on reducing pain by easing the tension across larger areas of the body and reducing tightness in crucial trigger points. 


This kind of massage can be especially beneficial for patients who suffer from chronic headaches, those with reduced blood flow causing aching in the legs and other common conditions. Patients undergoing this form of massage will often see an improvement in their skin health and a reduction in exterior scars due to increased blood flow across the dermis. 


Lymphatic Drainage Massage: 

Our lymphatic systems are a collection of powerful structures located throughout the body that help remove waste and toxins from surrounding tissues. This cluster of “filters” is vital to our overall health but can cause issues when lymph fluids begin to backup. This buildup, typically caused by poor circulation or infection (often after a surgery), can cause painful swelling and is sometimes associated with fibromyalgia. 


By utilizing gentle massage techniques to flush the lymph nodes and improve circulation within the lymphatic system, massage therapy experts can help patients feel better, address swelling in sensitive areas, like the neck and underarms, and ultimately feel better. 


Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy: Musculoskeletal realignment 

While not technically a massage, osteopathic manipulative therapy can offer real, concrete relief for common pain under similar circumstances. During an Osteopathic manipulative treatment, a physician will guide a patient’s muscles and joints using stretching, gentle pressure, and resistance techniques. This non-invasive method of addressing musculoskeletal disorders and alignments can help correct structural imbalances of a patient’s body, improve circulation and relieve pain. Osteopathic manipulation is so effective at treating pain; we offer it free for patients during their scheduled appointment. 


Want to discuss which massage therapy can best help relieve your chronic or acute pain, or recieve a free OMT therapy session? Call us today at+1 904-724-5767 for a free phone consultation or make an appointment with our on-site Jacksonville, Florida massage therapy specialist. Our pain relief experts are standing by and ready to help you feel your best.