Massage therapy helps the body and mind de-stress, and alleviates pain and discomfort due to injury and chronic pain in the lower back, neck, and shoulders. These are common applications most people know. However, there are a number of physical problems that can be effectively addressed in sessions with a registered massage therapist (RMT).

Growing knowledge about the added benefits of massage therapy has led to a dramatic increase in adoption. Data shows that over two-decades ago, the number of Canadians using massage therapy was 23 percent. More recent data shows that number has almost doubled in size to 44 percent. Alberta however, lags behind the country as a new study finds that 33 percent of Albertans have received therapeutic massage services. The province, led by its capital city of Edmonton, should begin to look at massage therapy as more than a solution to stress along with lower back, neck, and shoulder pain. Only then can the numerous benefits be realized.

Five Ailments Massage Therapy Can Treat That You Probably Didn’t Know About

1. Massage Therapy for Headaches

Chronic headaches and migraines are a persistent problem for many Edmonton residents. It impacts one’s social and professional life, and can lead to income loss when sufferers are not able to work. They are typically managed by medication, but some patients do not tolerate medication due to adverse side effects, or they prefer to avoid painkillers for a variety of reasons. Chiropractic manipulation and massage therapy is used at our clinic to help alleviate and put an end to chronic headaches and migraines. Research in massage therapy has found promising results for reducing pain associated with migraine headaches, with many considering it to be an effective alternative to commonly used medications.

2. Massage Therapy for Sciatica

Not to be confused with common lower back pain, sciatica refers to back pain caused by a problem with the sciatic nerve. Treatment may include both nonsurgical and surgical methods. Those preferring to go the non-invasive (non surgical) route are often advised to turn to both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), oral steroids, anticonvulsants, tricyclic antidepressants, and opioid analgesics. All of these alternatives can lead to over-reliance and/or abuse. Others may turn to lumbar therapeutic injections, but this is off-putting to many. 

As a natural supplement or outright substitute, Edmontonians are encouraged to turn to alternative forms of treatment, including physiotherapy, chiropractic therapy, and for the purpose of this article – massage therapy. An RMT can deliver deep tissue massage to improve blood circulation, relax tight muscles, and release endorphins, all of which are effective means to mitigating the pain and dysfunction of sciatica.

3. Massage Therapy for Carpal Tunnel

The Mayo Clinic lists wrist splinting, NSAIDS, and corticosteroid injections as non-surgical means to treat early carpal tunnel syndrome but they neglected to mention the most non-invasive and a very effective long term path to addressing the problem. Massage therapy can correct inflammation, pain, and numbness by softening and lengthening the muscles and fascia of the neck, shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand.

4. Massage Therapy for Vertigo

The vestibular system is made up of the inner ear and the brain. It is critical in controlling balance and eye movements. Disturbances to the system often cause symptoms of dizziness and vertigo which typically lead to balance issues, visual disturbances, and alterations in hearing. A variety of physiotherapy treatments may help alleviate bothersome symptoms, but massage therapy may explicitly benefit in key areas.

For instance, if suffering from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) an RMT can employ the Epley Maneuver to help with the symptoms. But even when stress and anxiety are precursors to vertigo, massage therapy (which is used to help relieve anxiety and stress) can assist. 

5. Massage Therapy for Ringing in the Ears

Ringing ears is a nagging form of tinnitus, which is a symptom that may be the result of noise-induced hearing loss, ear infections, medications, musculoskeletal factors, anxiety and depression, and a variety of other causes that may require medical attention. For most people, it lasts only a day or two, but those who experience it for 6-months or more likely have chronic tinnitus. While there is no outright cure for chronic tinnitus, Harvard Medical reports that it can become manageable through massage therapy. This may be the case when musculoskeletal factors are to blame. These factors commonly include jaw clenching, prior injury, or muscle tension in the neck, all of which can make tinnitus more noticeable. Massage therapy may also be leveraged to assist with tinnitus induced by anxiety. 

If in addition to common aches and pains you suffer from any of the above it’s time for an RMT assessment. View more about our massage therapy services and contact us today to schedule an appointment at our South Edmonton clinic.