There’s a reason the old adage ‘a pain in the neck’ is used to describe an annoying or insufferable situation, as neck pain is a common inconvenience with many causes that can disrupt your daily routine. Neck pain can limit our movement and cause unnecessary discomfort, and sometimes the pain can radiate to other parts of the body.
Muscle strains, slipped discs, whiplash, arthritis and spinal issues can cause neck pain. Many of us have also experienced a stiff neck after ‘sleeping wrong’, which can often persist for a number of days. But regardless of the cause, receiving treatment for your neck pain is essential, which is where massage comes in.
5 ways that massage can help to manage neck pain
Massage is one of the best ways to manage neck pain and the associated symptoms by relieving the area and strengthening the underlying muscles to prevent further injury. It has grown in popularity over the past few years as increasing numbers of people seek alternative therapies, whilst further research into the full body benefits of massage has also brought massage into the spotlight.
1. Relieves existing pain
You may feel a bit of tenderness for a few days after your first couple of massages, but don’t fret; this is a signal that your muscles are healing and strengthening. The pain you may feel is similar to the soreness experienced after a gym session, as your massage therapist is also giving your muscles a workout. But with the combination of physical manipulation and mental relaxation provided by massage, your body will release endorphins to relieve your neck pain.
2. Prevents future pain
Massage therapists are specially trained in diagnosing and treating a wide range of injuries, and they can also strengthen your muscles to prevent further injury down the road. As neck pain is such a common problem, techniques such as deep tissue massage can help to build the underlying muscles in your neck, promoting faster recovery and increasing muscle tone to avoid future strain to the area.
3. Helps you to relax
Stress can contribute to causing and increasing neck pain, as stress has a physical effect on the muscles in your neck. As well as physically treating your neck pain, massage can help you to relax mentally and spiritually, helping you to reduce your levels of stress, anger and anxiety. This in turn can help to reduce the severity of your neck pain.
4. Improves flexibility
As we age, the joints and muscles in our neck become less flexible, which can interfere with activities we want and need to engage in daily. Regular, high-quality massages can help improve muscle flexibility and increase our range of movement in our neck. Retaining flexibility in your body has a number of other positive health benefits too, such as improved posture and coordination.
5. Works with your body holistically
Studies have shown that regular massage has the additional benefits of improved circulation, stimulation of the lymphatic system, and heightened alertness, which ultimately makes for improved overall quality of life. This means that incorporating regular neck massages into your routine can enhance your wellbeing as well as relieve pain.
How to find the right massage therapist for your neck pain
Finding the right massage therapist to work with is just as important as finding the right doctor or hairdresser. A qualified therapist is necessary for treating neck pain, and they may use a variety of treatment options depending on where the pain originates from.
When you get in contact with a massage therapist for a consultation, it’s a good idea to bring with you a history of any injuries you may have incurred in the past, as well as details of any surgeries, activities you undertake on a regular basis, and your general overall health status. To get the best help with your neck pain, be sure to communicate the type of pain you’re feeling (for example, dull or sharp, persistent or throbbing) and if you have any suspicions on what might have caused the injury. By being honest and transparent with your massage therapist, you’ll have a better chance of receiving the best possible care.
Other tips include asking to see your potential new therapist’s qualifications, or asking about their expertise specifically in neck pain. Be sure to alert your therapist if you’re feeling any additional pain during your treatment, as they may need to decrease pressure or focus on another area.
Using massage to help with your neck pain
Seeking out a qualified massage therapist for neck pain is important. Discover Massage Australia is committed to training qualified and talented therapists who can assist with a wide range of injuries and treatment options. If you’re looking for a qualified massage therapist, make sure they have a qualification from one of Discover Massage Australia’s great courses.