You have a blinding headache, and your neck is as stiff as a board. Analgesics have taken the top off the headache, but it’s still there, and your neck hasn’t relaxed at all. What do you do? Shoulder A blinding headache and stiff neck are well-known symptoms of meningitis – do you call the doctor or go to the ER? In the absence of any other meningitis symptoms, don’t jump off the deep end just yet – try some muscle pain massage.
Massage is as old as mankind. It’s a natural instinct to rub something that hurts, and massage is very effective on muscle pain. Wait a minute, you say – I’ve got a headache and stiff neck, not a sore muscle from playing tennis. Well, that’s where you’re wrong, my friend; a blinding headache and a stiff neck are prime indicators of muscle pain. They can also be indicators of something much more serious, so if a good massage doesn’t alleviate the pain and stiffness, head straight for the ER. However, try the massage first. And don’t just massage your neck and head – massage your shoulders as well.
Muscles and Muscle Pain
When you were a kid, you probably played the musical game “Dem Bones” at some point. “Dem Bones” is actually a very old gospel tune, but some bright person adapted it to teach young children about their bodies. The foot bone does indeed connect to the ankle bone, and so on. What the song doesn’t teach you is that your muscles are just as connected as your bones, and what manifests itself as a blinding headache and stiff neck may actually indicate a severe muscle spasm in your trapezius muscle group.
Muscle pain doesn’t always stay in the injured muscle – it travels, or refers, as the doctors put it. This can cause extremely painful problems in areas you don’t normally associate with muscle pain – such as a migraine headache. Migraines are normally associated with vascular problems, not muscle spasms, but muscle spasms do lead to migraine headaches. They are referred to as muscle tension migraines, or muscle tension headaches, and your vascular system is not involved.
Pain referring down your arm (specifically the left one) is a known indicator of heart attacks. It can also be a muscle spasm in your pectoral muscle. If the pain is sudden and severe, don’t take a chance – call 911 or head straight to the nearest ER. It may turn out to be your pectoral muscles after all, but heart muscle is the one type of muscle tissue that doesn’t rebuild itself, so be proactive if you have any symptom of heart trouble. If it is the pectoral muscle, try massage first.
Types of Massage
There are many forms of massage – Swedish, Acupressure, Shiatsu, and Reiki pop to the mind immediately, though there are many other forms as well.
Swedish massage is a misnomer – it’s only referred to this way in English and Dutch-speaking countries, and in Hungary; it’s known as classic massage everywhere else. Swedish massage consists of five strokes – sliding/gliding, kneading, tapping, friction (cross fiber), and vibration/shaking. These techniques are applied over the whole body, to promote relaxation, aid in healing, enhance functionality, or as a recreational activity.
Acupressure is the application of pressure, with a hand, elbow, or a device, to the acupuncture meridians of the body.
Shiatsu is a Japanese massage style utilizing the thumbs, fingers, and palms to apply pressure to the acupuncture meridians, and it incorporates stretching.
Reiki is not actually a massage technique. Reiki refers to a form of spiritual healing done by laying on the hands. The process uses pressure on painful areas to promote healing. Reiki is not a religion; it is a spiritually guided form of therapy.
There are numerous other varieties of rubdown remedy available; enter ‘rubdown’ into the hunt engine of your desire and studies the bureaucracy available to you.
Is Massage Really Effective on Shoulder and Neck Pain?
The answer to this question is yes, depending on why the shoulder or neck is in pain. As previously mentioned, neck pain can be a symptom of serious disease, so, in the absence of other symptoms, try a massage first. If this doesn’t fix the problem, seek medical help. Your shoulder may be in pain due to injury or a chronic disease. If the injury results in inflammation,
The tear must heal on its own, or with surgery, before massage is indicated. If the pain is the result of a chronic disease, such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, massage is the first line of defense. Massage of joints with osteoarthritis has been shown to reduce the pain and inflammation over time. Massage of muscles in spasm due to fibromyalgia reduces the spasms and relaxes the muscle, relieving pain.
Fibromyalgia is chronic, so the massage therapy will need to be on-going, to keep the sufferer out of pain. Muscle pain refers, as mentioned before, so keeping the major muscle groups as relaxed as possible will minimize the occurrence of conditions such as headaches.