Massage Therapy for Shoulder and Neck Pain
The shoulder rub. We almost don’t notice when people in movies and on TV ask for one, or give one, it’s so ubiquitous a feature of portrayals of stress. One character’s up-tight, another steps behind them and kneads the muscles at the base of their neck; blissful expressions all round, and whatever the problem is, it’s lessened.
But is there any truth to this, any fire beneath the smoke? We recommend you try a shoulder and neck massage, given by a professional therapist. We think you’ll notice it then!
The “Shoulder Rub”
The neck and shoulder area of the human body can accrue a great deal of the physical symptoms of stress and tension, more than any other place in most people. This can lead directly to tension headaches, and stiffness all across the upper-body. Massaging the whole region can loosen taut muscles, immediately reducing tightness and increasing flexibility.
Most sentient animals love to be touched - that’s why petting a dog or cat is such a two-way street, with both parties benefiting. Because touch has been a necessary part of human communication for millions of years, the human body craves attention. It conveys care, which is relaxing, which in turn relieves stress.
But can massage therapy really reduce shoulder and neck pain?
A Professional’s Approach
Muscle knots - trigger points, or TrPs, in therapist-speak - can cause stubborn, sometimes incapacitating aches and pains. Around the neck, shoulders and upper back is the most common, and is perhaps the most gratifying and responsive place to apply massage therapy.
When the body is stressed, and when it reacts physically to the mind being stressed, it tends to go tense. As that happens, the effected muscles receive insufficient oxygen and often spasm (forming cramps, or knots). Manipulation increases blood flow, encouraging boosted oxygenation long after the massage is over.
Those knots are adhesions of muscle fibers. What happens, in brief, is that excess citric acids - which aren't converted back into energy by your body - cause your muscles to contract. They’re using their inherent potential energy, but in a counter-productive way, turning it into extraneous lactic acid. Without sufficient oxygen, that lactic acid lays inside your muscles, eventually sticking the fibers together. As noted, skilled manipulation of the muscles increments blood flow, maximizing the available oxygen, so the lactic acid is neutralized and the TrPs are resolved.
Dealing With Pain
Expert massage therapy in this part of the body can do far more than reduce stress and feel great. It’s also a very effective procedure for reducing, even sometimes eradicating shoulder and neck pain.
Further, if you’re experiencing upper back pain, discomfort around the inner edge of your shoulder blades, or in the neck, the side of your face, your upper chest, or in your arms, then neck/shoulder massage could help.
The scalene muscle group, in the side of the neck, is complex and quirky, so only highly-trained massage therapists should work in that area. Because of a phenomenon called “referred pain,” scalene problems often present or symptomize elsewhere in the body.
At Chiro-Med Rehab Center, we specialize in massage therapy for shoulder and neck pain. Call us today at (905) 918-0419 in Richmond Hill, or at (905) 235-2620 if our Newmarket location would be more convenient. We treat men, women and children of all ages, and serve the entire Greater Toronto Area. You can also use our Contact Us form to reach out to us.