Massage therapy is beneficial to anyone, not just seniors. Here at Wellness Mountain, we offer many services, including services like Thai Massage, and Swedish Massage here in Toronto. Through the countless years we have offered these services and many more, we know a thing or two about helping others with neck and posture pain. Our experience combined with the knowledge we procured from the Internet, we hope to teach you all a thing or two to deal with neck and posture pain.
Bad Posture Causes Neck Pain
The curvature of the neck and the spine is designed to decrease the weight of the head and absorb shock. Years of bad posture can cause the spine to curve forward, followed by the shoulder, neck and head. Excessive compression of the joints and discs in the neck leads to deterioration, compression of the nerves, arthritis and pain. The average head weighs 11 lbs but with bad posture, it can weigh up to 42 lbs!
The balance of the muscles between the front and the back of the neck is also disrupted, causing the muscles to work harder to keep your head up. This constant state of contraction makes the muscles in the neck tight and painful. Pain causes the muscles to tighten even more, which leads to more pain… and the cycle goes on and on. Eventually, the muscles become less flexible and the neck is unable to move around compared to before.
How Massage Therapy Can Help
Massage therapy is extremely effective in fixing pain and posture. Regular massage therapy helps to free your body of pain by relaxing and strengthening the muscles. The massage will normally be applied to the neck, shoulders and back because these regions are all connected. It is important to go to a trained RMT (registered massage therapist) instead of getting an at-home massage as RMTs have the skills and training to assess your posture and determine what can be done.
One common type of massage for neck pain is the swedish massage. It focuses on long, steady strokes in the direction of blood flow to the heart to encourage blood flow and flush waste products. Kneading and friction motions might also be included. The main goal of this massage is to promote relaxation throughout the entire body. Relaxing the tense muscles will loosen the tense feeling and allow for full movement of the neck.
How Massage Therapy Can Help
Another common type of massage is the deep tissue massage. This uses slow, deep strokes with more friction and direct pressure to work on the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. Also known as connective tissue massage, it is focused on releasing muscle tension to treat chronic pain. There are other massages such as Myofascial Release to break up fascial adhesions, Shiatsu which is based on acupressure and many more!
“Not only does poor posture look bad, but it forces some muscles to work incredibly all day long while others get weaker,” says Janice Novak, M.S., author of the book, Posture, Get it Straight! (Perigee Trade, 1999). “When you slouch, you’re pressing down on your internal organs, which affects digestion.” It can also affect your circulation and breathing capacity. With massage therapy, the body will be able to position itself in its original pain-free posture.
On top of getting massages regularly, it is also important to maintain proper posture in order to prevent future neck pain. You can ask your doctor or massage therapists about special neck exercises. For the exercises to be effective, it is important to perform them on a regular basis! If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact us!