Massage therapy can be very effective in helping with pain relief. There are many types of pain that a person may experience, and a few common areas are back pain, neck pain, and pain related to sports injuries.

How Can Massage Therapy Reduce Pain?

Back pain is very common, with some statistics stating that 80% of Americans experience back pain. Back pain may be generalized or very local. It can be acute (meaning a flare-up) or chronic (meaning it continues for more than three months). There can sometimes even be numbness or tingling into the legs due to issues in the spine and back. Some back pain is related to mechanical issues in the spine or with the discs, and can also be caused by muscle tightness.

Neck pain is a very common complaint as well, and can be described as stiff, tight, or painful. There can be decreased range of motion, such as noted difficulty with turning your head to look for cars while driving. There can be causes linked to neck issues due to poor posture, and poor ergonomic set up as well.

Sports related injuries are also very common reasons that one may have pain. Muscles may get sore or tight due to physical activity. There can also be muscular strains or micro-injury that can cause pain.

What techniques specifically target pain reduction? Here are some specific techniques that may be helpful to reduce pain.


This technique helps with pain caused by muscle guarding. It can decrease swelling if that is a source of pain, as well as relax the muscles. This technique is very light and gentle, thus good for someone who is in an acutely painful phase. It is also very relaxing for the nervous system, so allows the person to get out of the “fight or flight” response that is often associated with pain.

Deep tissue massage

This helps to reduce muscle tightness and eliminates trigger points related to pain. This is often useful for sports-related injuries and is a technique that uses more pressure. This is also helpful for back and neck pain, especially when related to tight muscles and spasms.

Lymph massage

This type of massage helps to improve a lack of circulation or inflammation in the body. It is important to reduce inflammation and have proper circulation of the lymphatic system so our body can heal and not get stagnant.

Your massage therapist can help to guide you specifically in terms of which technique would most benefit you based on what you are going through. Be sure to tell your massage therapist where your pain is located and any other descriptive terms such as the quality of your pain and the level of pain. Pain relief is possible through massage therapy.

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