As you may know, if you've experienced back or shoulder pain and tightness, muscles can respond to stress by clenching up, leading to pain, which causes them to tighten up more in what seems to be a vicious circle. And once you've gotten enough knots in your back, it can be virtually impossible to simply will them away. Here are three best times to get a massage and reduce your tension to prevent back, neck, and shoulder pain.
1. After exercising
If you've just started a hard workout routine and you know you'll be too stiff to move without pain in the morning, getting a massage right away can help reduce the stiffness and soreness you'll experience. In fact, you could get a massage every week after your hardest workout routine so you'll be able to go to work and move around unimpaired the next day. Likewise, a new activity (the kind that uses muscles you didn't know you had) such as rock climbing or kayaking may precipitate painful soreness if the lactic acid doesn't get worked out of the muscles first.
2. When super stressed
If it's holiday season and the whole family's visiting, tax time at a tax preparation company, or finals week at college, you'll be under a lot more stress than usual. Although you may not physically be working much harder than normal, the increased mental and/or psychological strain will still affect your muscles, especially the muscles where you tend to carry tension (such as the jaw muscles and shoulder/neck muscles). A massage can be a great gift to yourself during this stressful time, especially if you've been having restless nights and really need your sleep to deal with each day adequately.
3. When it's time to relax
If finals week is over and it's time to go home for the summer, or if your long-awaited week-long vacation has finally arrived but you can't seem to take a load off and relax, a massage may be just the thing. It helps your body relax physically, which can help your mind realize that you don't have to be in fight-or-flight mode anymore and that it's okay to calm down and relax; the business will still be there when you get back.
These are three situations where a massage can be especially helpful to your overall health and wellbeing, helping you to de-stress, reduce wear and tear on those muscles, and get a clear head.
For more information about massage therapy and other relaxation techniques, contact a chiropractor that offers massage therapy, such as Haring Marc DC.