Neck pain: three-times-a-week massage is the answer

According to the US National Institute of Health Statistics, as much as 15% of the US population is troubled by neck pain – that’s approximately 53 million people. And unsurprisingly, given those huge numbers, there are likely many different causesfor thatsuffering. Muscle strain, pinched nerves, whiplash,arthritis or degenerative disease may all be responsible, while bad posture or even hunching over a desk at work can be enough to bring it about.

It’s widely acknowledged, though, that neck pain, however chronic it may be, can be alleviated by regular massage performed by a qualified therapist and for the correct amount of time. Indeed, a recent study suggests sufferers benefit from massage best by having two or threeone-hour sessions a week.Published in the March/ April 2014 issue of the ‘Annals of Family Medicine’, this study on the effects of a month of massage was conducted by Karen Sherman, senior scientific investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle.

“In the short term, 60 minutes of massage is better than 30 minutes and you want to do multiple treatments a week for the first four weeks,”Karenhas said, commenting on her research.

In fact, the study’s results further advised that, when compared to those who receive none, people having massages three times a week are almost five times as likely to experience noticeable improvement in function – and more than twice as likely to experience a noticeable reduction in pain.

With such highly effective results to be gleaned from regular massage, it’s no surprise people are increasingly turning their backs on other treatments – such as anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by GPs. As Karen points out, “they are looking around for something that works”. However, she’s also very keen to point out that relying on extremely experienced massage therapists – as featured in her study – is what works, not calling on afriend or relative to massage away your pain.

In which case, it’s important to consider carefully from where you seek massages for neck pain. To be sure you’ll receive the best possible treatment, you’d be advised to visit a reputable establishment employing thoroughly professional and highly regarded therapists, such as you’ll find at the soothing and salubrious Spa at the Montcalm, to be found in the heart of London’s West End.Only then can you be sure you’ll be on the receiving end of a high-quality massage that will successfully tackle your problem.

Indeed, for a massage to treat neck pain, it ought to focus on the shoulders and upper backfirst, as massaging the neck straight off may merely exacerbate the symptoms. And, although it may seem counterintuitive, gently massaging the chest, arms, back and even the legs is proven to reduce neck pain. From there, it’s advisable to move on to a thorough massage of the whole neck, as well as the head, face, jaw and throat muscles. This final myofascial release should encourage full healing and restore correct function in the neck.

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