NJ Massage

Massage a Possible Solution for Migraines?

Massage for Migraines

There is a certain degree of mystery about what causes migraine headaches, with its pain levels ranging from “throbbing moderate” to severe— or from bad to worse. It could be caused by one, some or all of the following: genetic, a disorder of the central nervous system, chemical imbalances and even heart related. Many of the causes of primary headaches and tension headaches, including stress, also trigger migraines.

Therapeutic massage professionals are convinced that their efforts bring relief, as do many sufferers of migraine headaches who swear by it and regularly receive treatments.

Migraines may literally rob one’s ability to function normally, which is imperative for most who have jobs to do and responsibilities to family and community.

Evidence of the Healing Power of Massage

The American Massage Therapy Association (A.M.T.A.) reports that they are waiting for mainstream medicine and science to confirm massage’s healing powers over migraines beyond the testimonial evidence of those who have experienced its healing powers.

“Data on the efficacy of massage for migraine are somewhat limited. This does not mean that massage is not helpful for migraine, but rather that there have been few studies, and they have had smaller samples and less rigorous designs, so we do not have the scientific evidence necessary to make a conclusive statement about its efficacy,” reports Dr. Dawn Buse, Associate Professor of Neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Director of Behavioral Medicine at the Montefiore Headache Center in New York.

One of the limitations has been the lack of funding available for the comprehensive studies needed to affirm the pain easing impact of massage on migraine headaches. Pharmacological treatments, according to Dr. Buse, seem to have the inside track when it comes to funding testing of a growing number of new medications and their usual retinue of side effects.

Yet it’s really about the patients and the many who attest to feeling immense relief from massage therapy — a relief that lasts for days, even weeks at a time through regularly scheduled treatments.

Avoid Migraine Symptoms

Buse recently reported to the A.M.T.A. that she would encourage a growing number of patients who “find massage therapy helpful” to continue with regular massage therapy treatment plans. She also urged these same patients to maintain healthy eating habits and avoid a sedentary lifestyle that may lead to any of the following symptoms of migraines:

  • throbbing kinds of headaches, both dull and sharp
  • pain that becomes more intense with increasing physical activity
  • nausea and vomiting
  • pain on both sides of the head or behind the eyes
  • blurred vision
  • hyper-sensitivity to light and sound

Relaxation to Reduce Tension

It makes sense that stress and tension are major factors in both tension headaches and migraines. Sometimes just the anticipation of one of these crushing headaches can bring one on, patients affirm. The one condition that most people report after undergoing a massage from a trained professional is relaxation. Relaxation in turn keeps tension and stress at bay.

Migraine headaches affect about 12 percent of the adult population in the United States, which is a pretty good argument for aggressively testing massage and scientifically pinpointing where this relief comes from and which kind of triggers and symptoms upon which it seems most effective.

We know of a study that, for instance, measured heart rates, anxiety levels and salivary cortisol — the essential hormone produced when under stress— before and after treatments. The results provided conclusive proof that all of these levels decreased after each session.

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy to learn how massage might ease and eliminate pain from your life.

Massage Keeps Stenosis Pain at Bay

NJ Spinal Stenosis Treatment - Bergen/Passaic County

You might say massage is an effective way to rub out Spinal stenosis— or at least provide much-needed relief for months at a time. In fact, depending on how advanced the condition is, regular massage sessions may keep all that pain and discomfort at bay for the rest of your life without surgery or prescription drugs. There are various types of massage, and any or all could be effective in the healing hands of a chiropractor or physical therapist in alleviating the pain and pressure wrought by spinal stenosis.

Spinal stenosis, once it starts eroding the quality of your life, does not improve with age. The aging process is irreversible, but clinical trials show that massage therapy will not only counter the deterioration that aging brings, but it has the potential of reversing all the bad things stenosis does to your physical and emotional health.

Massage is More than Just Relaxation

Most people see massage as something that is supposed to relax you, knead away aching and sore muscles and get you back on an active track. It is not necessarily regarded as health care but as a luxury offered at a spa with saunas and facials. This is known as a relaxation massage, but relaxing and relieving everyday pressures certainly boost mental health. Then there is structural massage, or structural integration, which is the essence of massage therapy in that it is a range-of-motion protocol for the entire body relying on motion, pressure, and resistance.

Massage therapy deals with stiffness and pain associated with stenosis, without centering on the spine itself. We’re talking about massaging the surrounding and adjacent muscles in the back, lower back (lumbar) and buttocks.

Spinal stenosis constricts the spine by narrowing the spinal canal and stresses everything nearby, tightening and straining muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Massage loosens and relaxes affected muscles, bringing an amazing sense of relief.

Treatment methods for all back-related pain vary, but massage therapy for spinal stenosis is characterized by long strokes accompanied by a systematic kneading motion.

What Causes Spinal Stenosis?

There are various causes for spinal stenosis, which can become debilitating and result in loss of bladder and bowel function if untreated. The pain can be excruciating with advancing age. Many sufferers quickly turn to surgery or prescription drugs, despite proven noninvasive relief through chiropractic medicine via spinal decompression and massage therapy.

Pain, numbness, weakness, cramping and general discomfort can occur elsewhere in the body, including legs, arms, and buttocks. Extremely sensitive nerves in the spinal canal that result in stenosis may be affected by the following:

—Heredity plays a part if you are born with an unusually narrow spinal canal making you more susceptible to this condition

—Growths such as bone spurs inside the spinal canal

—Tumors attached to the spine itself

—Traumatic injury to the spine

— Arthritis

—Anything exerting abnormal pressure on the spine, and

— A condition in which strong tightening ligaments squeeze the spine closer together

Massage may not be a cure for more advanced spinal stenosis, but it can relieve pain, ease discomfort and, in some cases, maintain quality of life through old age.

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 for an appointment at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy.