You know that a massage can help you relax and get rid of some of your day-to-day stress. But did you know that a massage may also help relieve pain and heal sore muscles?
Researchers at McMaster University in Canada recently found that massage can have the same pain-relieving effect as anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen.
The reason massage works is because it reduces the production of compounds called cytokines. These compounds play a critical role in inflammation. Massage also is known to stimulate mitochondria. Located inside cells, mitochondria convert glucose into the energy needed for cell function and repair. The McMaster University study showed that pain-related pro-inflammatory cytokines can be reduced with massage.
Massage has also been shown to have some benefit for people suffering from low back pain. The Group Health Research Institute in Seattle conducted research to study this idea. While the researchers went sure exactly how massage helped with back pain, they suggested that it may stimulate tissue locally or cause a more generalized central nervous system response. The research also indicated that the back pain sufferers may be benefiting from their time in a relaxing environment or from being touched and cared for by a sympathetic therapist.
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, regular massage can also benefit those suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome, a form of pain and stiffness that is widespread and can move. It strikes muscles and connective tissues, as well as tendons, ligaments and joints.
Christopher Stipp is the Director of Online Marketing for Massage Envy Spa. Connect with Christopher on Google+.