Muscle Therapy Massagers For Treating Your Own Neck & Back
Many instances of neck and back pain can be related to problems with muscles. Typical areas of back strain and neck strain can range from sore, tired or overworked muscles, to tears in muscles which can cause significant pain. Muscle therapy massagers can help treat these condition from a superficial massage, to deep muscle therapy and trigger points.
Sore or stiff muscles can interfere with daily living activities along with sports performance. At work, a frequent issue is muscle soreness, pain and tenderness, which often affects workers that are frequently using one-sided and repetitive movements.
Muscle Therapy Massagers Allow You To Control The Massage
Most of the muscle therapy massage products are ones you use yourself or require your active participation. This allows precise control of where, how much pressure and how long massage is applied. They make it easy to get at difficult to reach areas involved with neck strain, shoulder strain, back strain, or almost anywhere muscles can hurt.
Muscle therapy massagers can help to relax sore muscles. When muscles are overworked, they can become tense and lack proper oxygen and nutrient supply. Using a muscle therapy massager can help increase the blood circulation as well as flow of nutrients, easing pain and promoting healing.
Helping To Heal Muscles
If you have injured a muscle, depending on the severity, massage should not be the first method of choice. A strain is a tear and, like tearing when you cut your finger, there can be bleeding, swelling and pain. This needs to calm down and heal. Again, depending on the severity, perhaps a few days. Severe strains may require surgery, however, for the basic muscle strain, a day or two using ice and perhaps an over the counter anti-inflammatory should suffice.
Using muscle therapy massagers can help with the healing when the bleeding stops. Just as a cut needs to form a scar to heal, muscles need to form a scar to heal also. The problem is scar tissue is not as resilient as normal muscle tissue. Muscle therapy massagers can help by forming a better scar tissue that will allow the muscle to function optimally. Using a muscle therapy massager to place pressure along the muscle fibers will help the scar tissue form along the muscle lines, producing a stronger, more flexible scar. Thus helping to minimize pain and maximize function, while reducing the chance of re-injury.
Another use is to treat areas of muscle pain and dysfunction, often called trigger points. These trigger points can be active and cause pain in the area of the muscle as well as pain that is referred along a certain pathway. A muscle therapy massager allows the use of gravity and/or leverage to apply a deep pressure type of massage that can help treat these areas. A trigger point that is not active can still cause a muscle to not function properly. Muscle therapy massagers can help to locate and then treat these areas using a held compression force that is somewhat uncomfortable, but not too painful. This method is called ischemic compression.
Trigger points can develop from injury, overuse and/or poor posture. Typical massage is applied to a specific area using compression for a short period. These devices allow you to control this pressure as well as monitor the progress.
Massagers like the neck massager uses an electric power source to apply massage. This allows passive mobilization of the joints, helping to lubricate the joints and restore smooth motion. It will also help to massage the muscles, but can concentrate on joint function. Similarly, using non-powered massagers can also help to mobilize the joints. This can be done for short periods, frequently, helping to treat hard to reach areas with ease.
Headaches often accompany neck pain. This is usually due to the muscles at the base of the skull, called the occiput. This connects the muscles of the upper part of the neck to the base of the skull. These muscles often become stiff from poor posture or sleeping on a non supportive pillow, including stress and tension. Trigger points in this area can cause pain to radiate into the head. A method often used by therapists to help relax these muscles is called occipital release, and there are muscle therapy massagers that specialize in performing this type of therapy. The massage is used by lying on the massager and letting gravity do the work, however, doing some simple motions like rotating the head or doing the basic from of the neck exercises, the nodding motion, can help bring more rapid relief.
Repeated work tasks can not only affect the muscle, but can cause tendon problems. Tendons are muscle attachments to bone. Tendinitis, inflammation of the tendons can happen anywhere there are muscles, but is common in the elbow area or the wrist extensors. A common form of therapy is called cross friction massage. This, unlike massaging along the lines of muscle fibers, actually massages across the tendons. This can be painful and is not done for long periods, however, it can help with tendinitis. Ice is usually applied after to control inflammation, but tendons can respond to this type of therapy, and the wheel massager is great for this.
There are so many of these devices and some of the designs are simply ingenious. Some of them are very useful in that they can do massage on just about any muscle, making them very versatile, lightweight and easy to use. The popularity shows that using one can really help. Research also indicates some of these muscle therapy massagers can help alleviate pain and dysfunction. In the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, a February 2014 article was published from a scientific study that indicated a muscle therapy massage device reduced pain and soreness of the affected muscle.