Massage Therapy & Chronic Pain Series - Part 2
Chronic Pain from the Nervous System
In part 1 of my chronic pain series I talked about what chronic pain is and listed some of the causes that can lead to chronic pain issues. Now I am going to break down 2 of the causes: chronic pain from the nervous system and from emotional issues, which is closely related to the nervous system.
There are a few factors to consider when we are talking about pain coming from the nervous system. Is this a trauma of the nervous system that can heal or is it permanent? Damage to a nerve can take over a year to fully heal. So while it feels chronic, if you get therapy for the damage/entrapment and give the nerve time to heal, sometimes the pain will go away.
Often there can be some residual issues that become chronic, but in many cases taking the pressure off the nerve or managing the muscle tightness from the nerve damage can lessen the pain for periods of time. If it is a neurological disorder that leads to the pain then there may be things you and your doctor can discuss to manage the condition. One important thing to keep in mind is when the nervous system gets fired up with stress then it can make the symptoms worse. So finding strategies that calm the nervous system like: meditation, breathing exercises, massage therapy, acupuncture, and counseling to deal with stressors in your life, can make the symptoms feel less intense in some situations.
You may wonder why I would include chronic pain coming from emotional issues because massage therapy may not be the first thing you think of when working through emotions. While massage may not be your primary therapy for issues in this category it can have a supportive role. What massage therapy can do is help re-connect you with your body, helping to give a sense of being more grounded and present in your body. Also the focus of the massage session can be to calm the nervous system that can help decrease the intensity of the pain experienced as I have mentioned above.
The nervous system plays a huge role in the control of our bodies and the awareness and perception of pain in our body. By supporting the nervous system you may be able regain control of your pain and learn how to manage it better.
Check out my next blog in the series: Chronic Pain from Physical Trauma and Biomechanical Dysfunctions.