It is National Massage Therapy Awareness week. In honour of our wonderful Massage Therapists here are just a few reasons as to why you should book your Massage Therapy appointment today!
At JointAction Physiotherapy & Wellness Centre we are happy to have 3 Registered Massage Therapists apart of our team. We have 2 Massge Therapy treatment rooms and offer Massage Therapy 6 days a week! Direct billing available should your extended health benefit plan allow it! Contact us to book your massage today!
Many colleagues would agree that pain is the most common reason why people will come and seek out your help. That statement has a lot more variability than you would think. I would like to say that we all wish that everything could be a quick fix but in most cases that isn’t the case because our bodies are such masters of adaptation.
We are wired to avoid pain and your body does everything it can to guard ourselves from dangerous situations. Beyond the physicality, each person is unique in their perception of pain. It can be very subjective as per their tolerance. Looking at a Visual Pain Analog Scale, from 0 to 10, 0 means you don’t feel any pain at all and 10 means the maximum amount of pain that you have ever felt. So what one person may feel is a 2 out of 10 another may say that is an 8.
Lately, I’ve been having a lot of patients come in with some chronic aches and pains and we have talked a lot about how your thought process can influence your health and well-being. This particular article post by the Canadian Chiropractic Association sheds a little bit more light on some of the potential cognitive barriers that can hinder your recovery.
“This is just how I am and I have to deal with it.” People get stuck in the chronicity of it all because they think that’s their normal. That being said, you should listen to your body. I tell my patients all the time that they are their best advocate. No one can tell you how you should feel. Health professionals can give you their recommendations and expertise from an objective standpoint. Our job is to inform you and educate you and give you treatment options.
There are many aspects of dealing with issues that manifest through your health so seek out various health professionals that can address and are experts in those areas. A multi-disciplinary team approach is an ideal one and can be the most optimum.
Have you ever experienced a shooting pain or sensation that travels? If you have, you may have encountered a Myofascial trigger point. Most often, people will refer to these points as “knots” or adhesions. You may usually find them within a taut band of skeletal muscle or its fascia. It tends to be tender to touch, and exhibits pain referral patterns that cause the affected muscle to shorten.
Myofascial trigger points are very common to everyone regardless of age and condition. Our bodies go through constant changes and adaptations to fit our needs and lifestyles.
For example, an individual who sits at a desk eight to ten hours a day, for many years, will show a neck-forward posture with shoulders rolled forward. Without any postural exercises and other preventative measures, that body will slowly adapt and change to that positioning which yields muscle imbalances. These imbalances indicate that there are muscles that have shortened and some that have lengthened and lost its strength. To add to the postural changes, some people may experience referral pain. Tension headaches are one of the most common examples that can indicate a trigger point is present in your upper trapezius.
Figure 1. Poor posture creating imbalances in the neck and shoulders
Some signs and symptoms of trigger points will include:
local point tenderness
decreased range of motion in the affected muscle
referral pain pattern
painful passive stretching
painful contraction of the muscle
imbalance of posture
Trigger points are often treated a variety of different ways. The most common is a technique known as ischemic compression. A static compression is applied to the affected muscle which creates a local ischemic point. While applying pressure, the referral pattern will reveal itself and the therapist begins to treat. After treating, the result is a reactive hyperemia that follows. In simpler terms, we are suffocating the muscle “knot” and then allowing re-circulation into the tissue to flush metabolites and release any built-up pressure. This is then followed up with heat and stretch.
Figure 2. Myofascial trigger point present in upper trapezius (marked by x) showing red referral patterns.
Although it may be a painful technique, your massage therapist should always inquire about your pain tolerance and make sure that you are comfortable. We are here to make sure we provide the most safe and effective treatment for you.
If you ever feel that you are struggling with trigger points, your local massage therapist will be able to treat those trigger points and provide a full analysis of postural imbalances as well as remedial exercises to prevent further injury and trigger points forming.