Pain Management – how can massage help?


All client testimonials and case studies have been gathered with full consent and cooperation from each client. A full consultation was carried out for each one although details have not necessarily been included here. Many thanks to all my clients who have contributed, I am grateful for your time and feedback.

I have a long standing client with multiple pain patterns who has regular treatment from consultants that has included medication and back surgery. She has well managed Multiple Sclerosis and is active whenever she can be. Over the years we have known each other Jacqui has been through a variety of issues relating to the musculoskeletal and nervous system and always found great benefit from massage. Our history is long and varied but we enjoy the trust of the therapeutic relationship and also a friendship, confidentiality and common sense approach of to self help (something we both have empathy for!).

Currently Jacqui is consulting her neurologist with a view to undergoing major surgery of the lumbar and thoracic spine but the issues in her lower back are causing postural changes in the upper back that are very problematic. So this is what I will be working on with her to relieve the pain in this area, arrest the headaches and allow so quality of movement.

During all our treatment Jacqui continues to take her medication and has regular appointments to monitor progress and proceed towards what may be inevitable surgery.

As you can see from the photographs Jacqui has a stooped gait due to the lower back pain but is also unable to lift her head because of the strain placed on the upper back. This in turn outs tension into the neck and shoulder area compromising movement in the back to a much greater extent.

Tight muscles respond well to deep tissue massage and any relief we can bring about in muscle relaxation will help the overall situation. It is also worth noting that the non-medical help of the masseuse and the relaxing quality of massage even on tight tissues can well have an uplifting effect for the client. This may not last long when dealing with chronic pain but nevertheless relief however short lived is most welcome. Massage then becomes something in your pain management toolkit to compliment medication, surgery, exercise etc.

For this kind of massage you need to ensure your therapist is qualified and insured and ideally has experience in working in this area. Chronic pain is by nature changeable, you have good days and bad. You work hard one day and expect pain the next yet it doesn’t come, you have a restful day and a good night’s sleep and wake up in pain, to use an American phrase ‘go figure’. The more you can do to ease and fight the pain the better, if massage gives even temporary relief or the compassion of a masseuse to soothe and relax then isn’t it of value in pain management?