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  • Emily McGuire

Finding Relief: The Role of Medical Massage in Pain Management

Updated: 5 days ago

Managing pain can present a unique set of challenges, feeling at times like we are constantly on the hunt for new approaches to find relief and regain control. While conventional interventions like medications and surgeries play a crucial role in pain management, there is a growing recognition of the benefits of medical massage therapy. This holistic approach not only provides relief from physical discomfort but also addresses the emotional and psychological aspects of pain, offering a more comprehensive strategy for overall well-being. Let’s explore the ways in which medical massage can play a pivotal role in pain management, providing individuals with an avenue for improved comfort and quality of life.

Woman touching painful spot on her back

Understanding Medically-Informed Massage Therapy 

Medical massage therapy involves the application of massage techniques by trained professionals with a deep understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and the complexities of various medical conditions. Unlike spa massages, which focus primarily on relaxation, medical massage therapists work closely with healthcare providers to integrate massage into a pain management plan. To learn more about what sets medical massage apart from a spa experience, read our blog post on medical massage benefits

Benefits of Massage for Pain Management 

Medical massage can work alongside other pain management solutions to provide elevated results. While the exact methods employed by a massage therapist will vary based on the client’s needs and plan of care, there are some common benefits that clients can expect. Here are the ways in which massage therapy can enhance your well-being: 


Pain Reduction & Improved Circulation 

One of the primary benefits of massage therapy is its ability to reduce pain and discomfort. The hands-on manipulation of soft tissues helps improve blood circulation, releasing tension and promoting the body’s natural healing processes. This enhanced circulation delivers vital nutrients and oxygen to injured or inflamed areas, accelerating the healing of damaged tissues. 


Targeted Care for Specific Conditions 

Medically-informed massage therapists undergo specialized training to address a wide range of medical conditions. From musculoskeletal disorders and arthritis to nerve-related pain and post-surgical recovery, these professionals tailor their techniques to meet the unique needs of each client. This customized approach ensures that the massage service complements other medical interventions and contributes to a more comprehensive plan of care. 


Improved Range of Motion & Flexibility 

For those conditions that limit the range of motion, massage therapy can involve approaches that target tight muscles and stiff joints, improving mobility and flexibility. This can be especially beneficial for conditions like arthritis where maintaining joint function is crucial for day-to-day activities. 


Stress & Anxiety Reduction 

Living with acute or chronic pain can lead to increased stress and anxiety levels. Massage therapy incorporates techniques that promote relaxation, helping to alleviate the emotional toll of persistent pain. By triggering the release of endorphins – the body’s natural painkillers – massage therapy not only provides immediate relief but also fosters a more peaceful mindset for coping with chronic conditions. 


Collaboration with Healthcare Professionals 

An essential aspect of medical massage therapy is involvement with healthcare professionals. At Resolve Wellness, our massage therapists collaborate with the physical therapy team at Rehab United to provide cohesive, integrated approaches to pain management. We are also committed to continually educating ourselves on advances in massage therapy and new techniques for specialized care. This dedication to informed care allows us to adapt our massage techniques based on a client’s medical history, ongoing treatments, and specific health goals. 


See the Difference Massage Can Make 

In the pursuit of pain management, medical massage therapy offers a valuable, complementary approach. Its ability to provide targeted relief, stress reduction, and improved well-being makes it a powerful ally to any medical plan. By combining the healing touch of massage with a deep understanding of the human body, medical massage therapy offers a holistic approach that goes beyond the traditional means of pain management. 



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Emily McGuire is a Marketing Associate and staff writer for Resolve Wellness. With a Bachelor's degree in International Business from UC San Diego, she is a California native with a passion for writing, digital marketing, health, and wellness.

Reviewed by: Erynne Hill, MS, ATC, HHP, BFRC, a Nationally Certified Athletic Trainer and Massage Therapist who has been a part of the healthcare field since 2002. She is the Director of Resolve Wellness, specializing in manual lymphatic drainage and prenatal massage. Erynne has extensive knowledge of both massage and physiology, even receiving her Master's degree in Exercise Physiology from San Diego State University.


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