The Therapy Room
AUSTIN'S Professional Massage Center
15300 B FM 1825, Suite 102
Pflugerville, TX 78660
Ph: (512) 989-2799
Fax: (512) 989-2422
e-mail: The Therapy Room
Chronic Pain? Acute pain? What is the difference?
Chronic pain is that pain which endures, lasts for a long time, one that wants to
hang around seemingly forever despite all that one does to send it away. Acute
pain is that pain which is short and sharp, one that wants to make itself known
as quickly and as noticeable as possible.
The Pain Cycle
The pain cycle is an intricate chain of events which relate to and support each
other. Each event, whether it be stress, lack of circulation, etc., begins
compounding upon each other, and before one knows it, one is in what is known
as a pain cycle. Massage is a unique modality that addresses most, if not all,
of the pain cycle elements without the use of drugs.
TAKE A LOOK AT EACH ELEMENT IN THE DIAGRAM.
Pain: Pain is perceived when one's body releases chemicals which stimulate nerves
to send pain messages to the brain. These messages should not be ignored.
Restricted Movement: Many people are under the impression that this is caused only
by muscle pulls or tears. However, restricted movement is the culmination of the
pain cycle elements. Most commonly, it promotes chronic pain. MOVEMENT IS
LIFE. The quality of life equals the quality of our movement.
Reduced Circulation: Any muscle that is contracted has its limits restricted and receives
less nutrition, i.e. oxygen, water, waste removal, etc. From this restrcition comes painful
muscles and reduced energy reserves, resulting in fatigue and irritable nerves.
Muscle Tension: Around any pain site, muscles will naturally contract to protect the area.
Sometimes pain is reduced and muscles relax. But if the pain persists, muscles become
accustomed to contracting. These contractions can then compress the nerves and cause
numbness, tingling, and even more pain.
Muscle Shortening: Muscles shorten due to injury and poor circulation. The body
eventually lays down collagen fibers to aid in the repair; however this natural
reaction can cause adhesions between muscles and connective tissues, causing them
to remain in a shortened state.
Trigger Points: These are extremely sensitive spots which refer pain, tingling
and/or other sensations throughout the body. As muscles tighten around referred
pain, the pain cycle radiates. Over time, areas with poor circulation will form
trigger points in both muscles and in their connective tissues.
Stress: Chronic pain itself is a mojor sorce of stress. Stress often makes one
feel threatened, and muscles tense for action and circulation decreases. Stress
drains one emotionally, interrupts sleep, makes normal activity difficult, and
HOW CAN MASSAGE HELP?
Research indicates that massage stimulates the release of natural pain relievers, called
endorphins. Massages releases contracted muscles; relaxes the nervous system, allowing
blood vessels to dilate and increase blood flow. This flushes wasted products
away and allows nutrition, oxygen, etc., to assist in the healing process by
re-hydrating and softening muscle and connective tissue. Massage helps restore
normal movement, enhances one's ability to sleep, and re-educates muscle
to hold itself ina more relaxed state. Regular massage sessions can thus
aid in the management of pain while working toward the ultimate goal of