What is remedial massage and how can it help you?
Remedial massage is the combination of massage techniques and stretching / mobilising techniques aimed at loosening tight, painful muscles and joints.
Remedial massage is a clinical approach to soft tissue dysfunction. It aims to repair damaged muscle and ease pain that is caused by muscular trigger points (knots).
Tight muscles cause spinal and peripheral joint stiffness. Stiff spinal joints cause muscles to tighten up. For best results both joints and muscles need to be loosened. Myofascial trigger points are common sources of: headache, migraine, neck ache, and back ache but they frequently cause pain you may not consider to be muscular: hip/buttock ache, chest/breast pain, jaw/tooth/ear/throat pain, dizziness, leg/knee ache, tennis elbow.
The longer you’ve had pain, the more likely muscular trigger points are heavily involved.
If you feel the need to stretch, rub or heat your muscles; you have knots!
What is Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy?
Myofascial trigger points are the most common cause of tight, aching and weak muscles. Healthy muscles don’t have trigger points in them. You develop them by overloading muscles (eg. Heavy lifting), quick jerk (eg. Whiplash), Frequent lifting (eg. Kids), tensing muscles (eg. Stress), postural stress (eg. Desk work), or by fatiguing muscles (eg. Scrubbing / cleaning).
Once a muscle develops trigger points, they will stay there indefinitely until treatment eradicates them. If you don’t ‘annoy’ trigger points you’ll mainly feel stiff and possibly tired in the muscle. If you annoy trigger points, they refer the classic ache. In the early days, the pain comes and goes. As time goes on, the aches often become more frequent and more painful.
Remedial massage frequently gets rid of trigger points. If the ‘knots’ are stubborn, massage ‘calms’ the trigger point pain and stiffness but doesn’t actually get rid of the trigger point. This may be enough relief for the patient but if not, the best method of getting rid of stubborn trigger points is dry needling of the trigger point.
There are many styles of dry needling, but the most effective by far is the ‘Travell and Simons’ method which actually eradicates the trigger point.
This needs a skilled practitioner, experienced with myofascial pain syndromes.