Massage therapy is a well-known and proven way to reduce neck and shoulder pain. It is often one of the first treatments people think of when they experience severe neck pain. There is evidence that massage can provide short-term relief from pain, although more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness. Massages can help reduce tension in the muscles that can cause the neck to harden.
Self-massage can be part of a comprehensive treatment plan for chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritis. Massage therapy may be less effective in treating chronic and long-lasting back pain. Studies have shown that people who received massages three times a week were nearly five times more likely to have a clinically significant improvement in function and more than twice as likely to report a clinically significant decrease in pain. It is not known if massage therapy would work in older patients, since the average age of its patients was 40.
Feeling sore after a massage is quite common, especially if you've had a deep tissue massage or other type of massage that requires a lot of pressure. Massaging around the client's spine can be relaxing, as the muscles surrounding the cervical spine can relieve tension within the neck. If you are considering getting a massage for neck pain, it is best to talk to your healthcare provider or ask a friend for recommendations for a massage therapist. You can also use your hands to give yourself a neck massage, foot massage, or head massage.
In some cases, it may be worth considering using a massage cushion.