If you suffer from neck pain, your healthcare provider may suggest non-pharmacological therapies. There is some evidence that massage can provide relief in the short term, although more research is needed. Hot stone massages incorporate soft, flat, and warm stones into the treatment, which can also help reduce neck pain. However, this type of massage may not be suitable for those with certain health conditions, such as skin conditions like cancer, burns, psoriasis, eczema, or acne.
Therefore, it is important to consult with your doctor before trying it. Self-massage is a great way to give yourself a neck massage, foot massage, or head massage. You can do some slow and gentle movements in your neck, such as turning your head left and right and bending your neck left and right and up and down while doing so. Additionally, if you receive professional massages, self-massage can prolong the benefits and provide relief between sessions.
There are many types of back massagers designed to provide relief to areas such as the shoulders or lower back. Using self-massage techniques can be a useful way to ease stress and alleviate pain caused by poor posture or even by some chronic conditions. In these cases, it may be beneficial to work with a healthcare provider so that they can offer a treatment plan for long-term relief along with massage therapy. When included as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, self-massage can also help control chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritis.
In eight of the nine trials, massage was found to be more effective than other interventions like exercise, relaxation therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy and manipulation. The benefits of massage may be temporary but they can play a role in managing pain crises and helping to improve quality of life. Compared to other treatments considered beneficial, massage was found to be better for both short- and long-term pain but it didn't improve function. It is not known if massage therapy would work in older patients since the average age of its patients was 40. Neck pain accounts for more than 10 million doctor visits per year in the United States. If neck pain is something that is treated regularly, it is recommended to receive a Swedish massage every two to three weeks to help reduce pain and increase circulation.
Fredrick Wilson, spine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, emphasized the need to use a professional massage therapist. These included 30-minute massages two or three times a week, one-hour massages one, two or three times a week, and a comparison group that did not receive any massages.