Low Back Pain
Low back pain has many causes, including faulty posture, muscle imbalances, improper footwear, joint misalignments, and improper lifting techniques. Your massage therapist can help to determine the cause of your pain, while simultaneously providing relief from the symptoms. Your therapist can address many of the above causes during the massage, and may provide you with education and exercises to correct your posture, muscle imbalances, and lifting techniques. Massage therapy is particularly effective for back pain, with one study (Weintrab 1994) finding that 86% of patients with back pain felt dramatically better after 1 month of massage therapy treatment.
Arthritis afflicts half a million people in BC and is the second most frequent reason for non-prescription drug use. Massage therapy has been shown to both decrease pain and increase range of motion in arthritis patients (see www.arthritis.ca). Massage therapy will not cure arthritis, but it can help to slow its progression, address pain issues, and prevent further disability. Massage therapists may teach strength and mobility exercises to help the patient manage their condition on their own and enhance the results of hands-on therapy.
Most headaches are caused by tight and overused neck and shoulder muscles. Referral pain (pain which is felt somewhere other than where it originates) from neck and shoulder muscles is often felt as a headache. Massage therapy can help relax and release these tense muscles, and in so doing relieve that referral pain (headache).
Whiplash is most commonly caused by motor vehicle collisions, but may be caused by any traumatic force into the neck. A whiplash injury may affect muscles, ligaments, tendons, joint capsules, and nerves. Symptoms may include headaches, neck pain, visual disturbances, difficulty swallowing, dizziness and tingling/numbness in arms. Massage therapy helps in rehabilitation of whiplash by reducing headaches, restoring pain-free range of motion, increasing muscle strength, and decreasing muscle spasm and pain. ICBC claimants are frequently treated for whiplash, with the majority of patients reporting marked improvement by the end of the 8-week treatment period covered by ICBC.
Women have changing symptoms through pregnancy as the body changes, and massage therapy can help to reduce or eliminate many uncomfortable aspects of this tumultuous time. Some complaints that are helped by massage therapy include backache, fatigue, headaches, sciatica/pseudo sciatica, edema (swelling), carpal tunnel syndrome, mood changes, calf cramps, and constipation.
Our clinic has a pregnancy pillow, which allows the expectant mother to lie face down during the treatments with no risk of harm to the mother or fetus.
An active lifestyle can often result in sports injuries. Some injuries that can be helped by massage therapy include:
- Muscle strains
- Ligament sprains
- Piriformis syndrome (buttock and back of leg)
- Patellofemoral syndrome ( knee)
- Iliotibial band friction syndrome (side of thigh and knee)
- Plantar fasciitis (bottom of foot)
- Compartment syndrome/ shin splints (shins)
If you have a big event (marathon, race, or competition) coming up, pre-event and post-event massage therapy are useful tools for improving performance during the event, and for recovering afterwards.