waking up every morning in pain. Serious pain, pain at 5 on a scale of 1-10. Every. Single. Day.
The pain you feel dictates every choice you make and you live in fear of moving the wrong way.
This is reality for Jane. Jane lives with chronic pain.
What is Chronic Pain?
The short answer is chronic pain is pain that occurs on at least half of the days for 3-6 months or longer. It’s multi-factorial and can manifest differently in individuals. Chronic pain comes with secondary complications as well as physical pain.
Who Has Chronic Pain? 1 in 10 people globally suffer from chronic pain and 25 million Americans report daily pain.
What are the Symptoms ?
Symptoms vary on each person but can include pain areas, sensory issues (pins/needles feeling), elevated stress, poor posture, sleep deprivation, fatigue,anxiety, depression, pain while resting. A person could have little to no pain threshold which means the brain reads even light touches as pain.
How does this effect their daily lives?
About 65% of people with chronic pain are less able to do normal daily tasks like exercise, drive, have sex, walk and go to social events. 30% of chronic pain suffers are unable to live independently.
Currently there is no cures for chronic pain because of how complex and misunderstood it is. But there are ways to improve the quality of life of someone with chronic pain.
Biomedical treatments include medication, nutrition, and integrative care. Physical therapy, surgery and behavioral therapy fall under integrative care. Most people are not satisfied with just one type of biomedical treatment because its not adequately treating them as a whole person.
To treat the whole person add complementary care to usual treatment plans. This is where massage therapy comes in and shines. Massages are non-invasive, have little to no side effects, and great for the mind and body. In a paper on complementary care, Jennie Tsao concluded that the groups that received massage therapy had lower pain levels than the control groups in the “Moyer’ studies.
Reasons Massage Therapy stands out
Massage Therapy helps on multidimensional levels, physically, emotionally and mentally. Clients feel heard, safe and comfortable. A massage addresses the whole body and doesn’t have to be painful to be effective.
Positive Outcomes from Massage Therapy
Besides the pain levels decreasing, one of the great outcomes is that people are gaining hope and feel able to cope with the illness. Other benefits include: increased energy, ability to relax, increased range of motion, healthy sleep patterns, improved posture, and improvement on overall well-being.
Whats Next for Jane?
Jane is pseudonym to keep her privacy while we work together. Over the next few weeks, Jane is going to receive weekly massages from me and I'm going to track her progress on my website. We have set a few measurable goals and each week I will record how she is coming along. So next week I'll start by sharing her base line of pain, her starting point on her goals and give a glimpse into her daily life with chronic pain.
Effectiveness of Massage Therapy for Chronic, Non-malignant Pain: A Review -Jennie C.I. Tsao
Diana L. Thompson