Massage is one of the best forms of therapy there is for muscle pain and tension. It helps break down tension caused by stress (mental or physical), and leaves you feeling physically relaxed and hopefully, experiencing less pain. For most people, it is also quite enjoyable as well – even though sometimes deep tissue massages can be a little bit painful, it is a pain that you know is doing you good!
Muscle Groups All Affect Each Other
Of course, for massage to be truly effective, you need to ensure you are getting the right sort of massage and targeting the right muscle groups. However, the mistake many people make is thinking that the only area they should have their masseuse focus on is the one that actually hurts – for example, people with pain in the shoulders and neck tend to go for upper back massages, and people with low back pain ask masseuses to concentrate their efforts in the lumbar region. The thing is, the musculoskeletal system doesn’t really work like that. All of the muscles in your body form a complex network, and when one is tight, injured or generally out of phase, this has a knock on effect on the rest of your body.
How Does This Work?
Many muscle pain or tension problems are caused by bad posture, for example bad posture when working at your desk hunched over your computer. This causes some muscles to tighten under the stress, also pulling on other nearby muscles and stressing them too. Of course, where one area is tense, an opposing area becomes weaker, because it is not doing its proper job of holding you in the right position. This can result in lasting bad posture, which will then affect other movements, such as how you walk. You may not have visibly bad posture that other people notice, but the balance between tight muscles and weak ones is all wrong, causing further tightness, tension, and pain.
Full Body Massage
This means that when you experience pain in one muscle, that is not the only muscle that is tight. As one weird sounding example, in many cases lower back pain is actually the result of tension in the calf muscles. In order to get to all the tense muscles that may be adding to your pain, the best thing is a full body massage. If you can’t afford to do this regularly, you can always get a table for your home like the ones at therapyworlddirect.com and persuade your partner or a friend or family member to learn massage with you, so you can both have regular, beneficial full body massages that will treat your muscle tension properly (for the weakened muscles, I’m afraid the only cure is to strengthen them through exercise and adjust your posture!).
The body is a complicated structure and the muscle network is no exception. Next time you get a massage, remember this and don’t ask your masseuse to only massage that one achy muscle!