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Sciatic Nerve Pain
The sensations of sciatic nerve pain are different for everybody; there are those who claim that the pain is the kind that builds up over time, and then there are those who describe their pain as the hot radiating kind that shocks their lower body repeatedly. Suffice it to say, sciatic nerve pain attacks can render anybody helpless, and for those who experience such pain frequently, the condition fully compromises quality of life.
Most people who suffer from this type of pain are prescribed non-steroidal pain killers which alleviate the pain for several hours or so. The problem with the frequent intake of pain killers is that it can thin the stomach lining, make a person hyper-acidic and lead to liver damage. Meanwhile, there are some who are advised to get surgery as treatment, but this is really expensive and is only for those with intense pains who have tried out more conservative treatments yet witnessed no positive results from such treatments.
Treating sciatica is on a case-to-case basis, but what medical professionals agree on and advise is for sciatica sufferers to get some physical stimulation (like exercise and massage) because without proper physical activity, low back muscles can become weaker and deconditioned. And with weak, deconditioned low back muscles, pains can actually become more intense in the future because the spine cannot support the whole frame of the body anymore. Likewise, without proper physical activity and stimulation, important nutrients that the spine requires to be strong and healthy will not get distributed and absorbed properly. Yet again, this varies among cases because physical exertion may lead to a flare up of pain if not executed properly, and this now leaves therapeutic massage as the safest bet for sciatic nerve pain relief.
What’s particularly beneficial about massage that is performed by a trained professional is that the body receives the stimulation it needs for better circulation without the pain sufferer exerting too much effort. All the patient has to do is lie face-down on the massage bed and the massage therapist can treat the impinging nerves typically found at the base of the spine (the sacral bone) which is the origin point of the nerve pain. On top of that, massage can also help maintain the body’s natural flexibility, which sciatic nerve pain sufferers tend to lose due to their limited movements. And lastly, it is also known to reduce inflammation which is a common manifestation of sciatica – this inflammation creates a tender feeling around the source of the pain but therapeutic massage can easily address that to promote better circulation for quick healing.
Therapeutic massage for sciatic nerve pain typically requires several sessions, but relief from pain is longer-lasting, it’s more affordable, and most importantly, it has no side effects.
Many people who suffer from migraine are at a loss for words when it comes to describing the excruciating pain that they experience. Some will even daresay that it is infinitely better to give birth without the aid of pain medications than to suffer this form of headache.
But what is a migraine and how is it different from other kinds of headaches?
A migraine is a type of headache that is marked by an intense throbbing sensation in a single area in the head. It is often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to both light and sound. Some migraine sufferers report flashes of light, blind spots or a tingling sensation in the leg or arm prior to an attack.
Although experts have yet to make a definitive pronouncement regarding the root cause of this problem, experts are pointing towards an imbalance in brain chemicals and low serotonin as the primary reasons for migraines. Other triggers include hormonal imbalance, food and additives, alcohol, stress, sensory stimuli, changes in sleeping patterns, physical exertion, changes in the weather and medications.
The list of drugs prescribed to migraine sufferers can go on and on, ranging from pain-relieving medications to preventive medications. But the bottom line is that migraines cannot really be cured. The best thing that one can do is tweak their lifestyle to avoid their pain triggers as well as craft a pain-relief plan with the aid of their healthcare provider.
Many migraine sufferers have discovered the benefits of going for a massage, not only for the treatment for migraines, but also before and after an attack. By targeting the muscles typically associated with migraine pain, a skilled massage therapist can significantly reduce pain during an attack through kneading and stroking the scalp, neck and shoulders. Going for a regular massage treatment can significantly reduce stress, one of the most common triggers for migraine sufferers.
Since pre-history, countless people have been plagued with migraine, leading them to believe that they have been cursed by the gods. As such, many cultures have concocted various remedies to aid those who suffer from it. Fortunately, for modern people who are plagued by it, there are numerous strategies and treatments that are easily available. As such, it is crucial to identify one’s triggers, and from there, make use of medications and massage treatments to allow them to cope better with the pain instead of simply succumbing to it.
Have you ever experienced pain originating from your buttocks, which then radiates down to the back of your thigh to your knees? Then, you might be suffering from sciatic pain or sciatica. Sciatica is usually felt in just one leg with intensities varying from continuous burning pain to dull, intermittent pain.
What exactly causes sciatica?
The sciatic nerve is one of the largest nerves in the human body and sciatica is the result of pressure on that nerve. This condition comes as a result of various causes. Sometimes, it is caused by poor posture or muscle strain. If you are pregnant or obese, the risk of getting sciatica can become high. Even wearing high heels for an extended period of time or sleeping on a bed that is too soft can cause this pain.
There are also people whose risk of succumbing to sciatica is high. This includes people whose work involves heavy lifting, extended periods of sitting or twisting. Older people are also more likely to get sciatica as compared to their younger counterparts. If you have diabetes, you are more prone to getting sciatica as the disease is known to increase the risk for nerve damage. Osteoarthritis can also cause sciatica. Persons with osteoarthritis have burn spurs which can put pressure on nerves. In rare instances, sciatic pain may be caused by meningitis or spinal cord tumours.
The best way to confirm whether you have sciatica or another condition is to consult a medical professional. Your doctor will run a series of tests including testing for reflexes, muscle strength and sensation, and coordination. It is also possible that your doctor will ask you to lift your leg in a 60-degree angle without bending your knee to allow him to locate the origin of the pain. Some doctors may request you to undergo an X-ray, CAT scan or an MRI.
Once your doctor determines that you indeed have sciatica, he may prescribe you with muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers to help reduce inflammation as well as pain. Once the pain has gone down to a minimal level, a combination of exercise and massage therapy can help.
In addition to this, you can implement a few changes that will help you cope better with this condition. This includes sleeping on a firm mattress, either on your side or back. Putting a pillow either between your knees or under them will allow you to deal with the pain better as you try to sleep. Experts caution against sleeping on one’s stomach. If you work in an office, keep both feet firmly on the ground when sitting. Also, find a chair with adequate back support.
Melbourne Wellness Professionals Reveal a Network of Triggers and Remedies to Common Aches.
There was a Readers’ Digest special feature back in the seventies or eighties which told the true tale of an office employee who suffered from constant ringing in his ears that was at times accompanied by headaches and nausea. He consulted different doctors who provided prescriptions which were all ineffective in ridding him of the discomforts he was feeling. Weeks turned into months, and months turned into a year, and the ringing grew worse; the pains he’d been feeling have also already extended to his lower back. He continued to seek medical help and one doctor told him that he was dying.
Not one to easily give up, he continued to find a solution to his health problem and finally found a doctor who looked beyond the symptoms he had and inspected him more closely. The doctor took note of the collar size of the button-up shirt the man was wearing and then provided the most credible explanation to the ringing in the ears and pains that the man had been suffering from — the size of the collar (which was always buttoned and stylishly reinforced by a necktie) of the shirt was too small; it restricted blood and air from properly flowing to the head, and put uncomfortable pressure on his spine. True enough, a change in the size of clothing eventually got rid of the ringing in the ears, headaches, neck and back pains, and nausea the man often felt.
Loose, comfortable clothing allow blood and oxygen to be transported properly to the brain and this remains to be one of the most overlooked solutions to relieving pain, Melbourne wellness professionals claim. Tight jeans, shirts, shoes and underwear are common culprits not only for pains but even disfigurement of body parts — have you seen Oprah’s feet?
Another often overlooked but effective remedy for pain is drinking water. Most people just think that it’s for health maintenance but some of the aches the body feels can be eased instantly by drinking more water. Water rids the body of harmful toxins that cause infection and inflammation; drinking water allows the body to flush out toxins and at the same time rehydrate cells for quick recovery. The rule of thumb when it comes to healthy consumption of water is to drink at least half your body weight in ounces; so if you weigh 127 to 130 pounds, you must drink 65 to 78 ounces of water. For back pains that hinder movement, drinking this much water or slightly more will provide moisture to the disk between every two vertebrae of the spine. The disk, which is filled with gelatinous substance called the nucleus pulposis, is the shock absorber between the bones and it is primarily water, so keeping it hydrated prevents friction between bones that cause “creaky” back pains.
It’s imperative to direct attention to ergonomics as well in relieving body aches. Chairs that are built for complete comfort are the best when you’re working long hours on a project for school or work. Those that recline and come with an adjustable desk (and massaging features) will prevent you from hunching over, which is perhaps one of the worst positions for your body. A hunched posture is deemed responsible for a variety of aches that stretch from the neck and radiate all the way to the calves and ankles. The base of the spine is most vulnerable with this position as it’s the centre of the body’s frame; therefore, providing it adequate support to keep it in a comfortable angle while working can ease those tension knots and maintain flexibility of the body.
Repetitive motions. Heavy lifting. Awkward postures for hours at a time. Some jobs may leave you susceptible to risks for musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Whether your work requires you to lift and move heavy boxes or scan grocery items at the checkout counter, exposure to certain working environments and demanding physical tasks — over a long period — can result in neck and back pains, wrist injuries, muscle tightness, and a whole range of other aches and pains, which when left unresolved could affect your overall health, mobility, and well-being.
Get ahead of any serious injuries or resolve chronic pains by considering the healing benefits of remedial massage.
The Healing Treatment
Remedial massage, which is a form of deep tissue massage, delivers a healing treatment by working on the muscles and tendons that have been damaged, knotted, or impaired. A lubricating medium, such as oil, is usually applied directly to your skin to guarantee that the muscles related to your disorder are deeply penetrated. The remedial massage Melbourne therapists apply not only lead to eased joint stiffness and tension and improved mobility, but the therapy also enables your body to speed up its own repair mechanism, relieving you from pain and discomfort.
Massage therapies, including remedial massage, are being recognised as safe and effective treatment options according to a report conducted by Dr. Kenny Ng in collaboration with the School of Health and Sciences of the RMIT University. The research highlighted that massage therapy has been specifically effective in managing chronic lower back pain, delayed onset muscle soreness, anxiety, and stress. There is even indication that massage therapy can support the wellbeing of people diagnosed with chronic and terminal diseases like cancer. However, the Australian Association of Massage Therapists (AAMT) emphasise that using massage therapy as a safe treatment option will depend on the qualification and accreditation of therapists.
Finding Your Massage Therapist
The profession is largely unregulated still, with practitioners not entirely required to register as professionals, which is why it is recommended that you first seek consultation with medical practitioners and other registered health professionals before getting treatment from a massage therapist. With every remedial massage commencing with an examination and assessment, your therapist needs to be able to accurately determine which areas in your body are causing you pain. This means that your therapist should have completed a diploma course on remedial massage or bachelor’s degree on musculoskeletal therapy, and other required competencies.
The AAMT also recommends that you look for massage therapists who are members of an industry association such as the Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA) or the AAMT. Membership to such organisations ensures consumers, like you, of therapists that follow proper practices, ethical procedures, and safety guidelines, giving you effective treatment for a broad range of problems.
From built-up knots and blockages after a stressful day at work to chronic injuries sustained from a physically demanding job, do not let those aches and pains go unresolved. Consider the healing powers of remedial massage and let a qualified and accredited professional therapist restore your body’s health and wellbeing today.
Ergonomics And Massage Therapy – Melbourne Office Workers’ Best Defence Against Work-Related Injuries
Office workers spend an inordinate amount of their waking life at work, poring over documents, finishing reports, and chasing sales quotas. People would often think that office workers have it good, sitting all day in posh, air-conditioned work areas while those engaged in labour-intensive sectors like mining and construction have to deal with back-breaking work on a day to day basis.
That is why it often comes as a surprise that work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) have become prevalent even in the office setting. Among the injuries clustered under WMSDs are neck strain, shoulder tendinitis and bursitis, low back pain, hand and wrist tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow.
It is not uncommon for office workers to report symptoms ranging from simple discomfort and fatigue to pain, swelling, stiffness, numbness and tingling. Computer-related tasks, general office work and lifting and carrying are among the most common reasons pinpointed by those who are injured, necessitating various types of treatments including massage therapy. Melbourne business owners and office workers should know that this is not just about getting adequate rest.
The Science of Work
Both business owners and their workers want to achieve a boost in productivity, employee morale and work quality while reducing employee turnover, tardiness and absenteeism. But before you call in a business coach, a few tweaks in the work area can pay significant dividends. This is where office ergonomics plays a significant role.
The word ergonomics often gets thrown around when discussing design, from gadgets to furniture. But what is ergonomics? Ergonomics, put simply, is all about studying how people work. Among the factors studied here are a worker’s physical and mental capacities weighed against his or her limits in the context of the work environment. Office ergonomics is an area of specialisation that focuses on the office environment.
Ergonomics means adapting the tools, equipment and even work habits to the worker and not the other around. Here are a couple of useful tips to lessen the risk of injuries in the office.
- If your work entails talking on the phone while performing other tasks, invest in a headset so that you would not need to cradle the phone between your ear and shoulder. This will help reduce neck strain.
- Monitors should be placed at an arm’s length, slightly below eye-level.
- To prevent tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome, the keyboard and mouse should be within easy reach. The wrists should be kept straight while the arms should be held close to the body. The hands, on the other hand, should be placed just below elbow-level.
- Office tools that are frequently used like staplers, notepads and pens should be within easy reach to prevent straining.
- In selecting an office chair to purchase, opt for one that provides adequate support to the spinal curves. But choosing the right chair is just part of the equation. Office chairs should be positioned correctly to allow an office worker to keep his or her feet firmly planted on the floor while keeping the thighs at a 90° angle.
- Desks should have ample clearance at the bottom, allowing free movement of the knees and thighs. If the desk is too high, a remedy for this is to adjust chair height and the use of a stool or a stack of books to compensate. Conversely, if the desk is too low, the height can be adjusted in height through the use of blocks.
Sports Massage – Melbourne Endurance Athletes’ Weapon Against Injuries
Since the year 2000, marathon running has experienced a resurgence in popularity. Unlike before where finishing one became an enviable badge of achievement by a select few, today more and more people are joining and finishing running events.
On one hand, this can be seen as a proactive move for people against the trends of a sedentary lifestyle and the prevalence of fast foods. On the other hand, running has become more popular because it is one of the easiest fitness activities one can engage in. Apart from a good pair of running shoes, you do not really need anything else to get started. Simply open the door, step out of your house, and start running.
The same can be said for cycling. Cycling is pretty much a straightforward endeavour, just like running – hop onto your bike and start pedalling. Some fitness enthusiasts have even upped the ante by combining both activities through duathlons, or in combination with swimming as triathlons.
While novice runners and cyclists become prone to injuries (in one part due to over enthusiasm, and in one part due to improper form), it is not uncommon for seasoned athletes to succumb to injuries, thus requiring rehabilitation and other treatments like sports massage. Melbourne runners and cyclists need to know what these injuries are in order to help them minimise the chances of getting them.
Among the most common injuries among endurance athletes are the runner’s knee or patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPD), the Achilles tendinitis which affects the calf muscles, hamstring injuries, plantar fasciitis or small tears in the tendons and ligaments found in the feet, shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), and stress fracture.
If you are just getting started in endurance sports, here are a few tips to help you avoid getting sidelined by an injury, regardless of whether your goal is to finish your first 5k or beat your own cycling record:
First, gradually increase your training volume to let your body adapt to the increased stress. Make sure to get the best equipment. If you are a runner, that means getting the right type of running shoes. Many dealers of running shoes offer free feet and gait analyses to help their customers find the right pair. If you are a cyclist, make sure that your bike is adjusted to the right height. Know the value of proper warm ups, cool downs and stretching. As much as possible, incorporate some sort of strength training into your training regime. Finally, make sure that you get adequate rest and recovery.
Sports massage therapy can be particularly beneficial to endurance athletes who push their bodies to the limit. This type of massage can help relieve an athlete from the stress and tension associated with the continuous use of a particular muscle group. It is also beneficial in preventing injuries and is used to treat sprains, strains and cramps. Among the other benefits of this massage are increased flexibility, improved blood circulation and lymph flow and better muscle tissue healing.
Even seasoned athletes succumb to injuries. What is important is how they bounce back stronger. Whether you are just starting out or recovering from an injury, add sports massage into your arsenal of recovery techniques.
In a report published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2008 entitled National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, the bureau estimated that about 3.2 million or one in five adult Australians will succumb to a mental illness any given year. Among the top mental illnesses included in the report are substance abuse, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.
In a related study conducted by the Department of Health and Ageing entitled People Living with Psychotic Illness 2010: Report on the Second Australian National Survey, it was revealed that individuals who experienced psychosis expected the following issues to follow in the next twelve months: financial issues, social isolation, unemployment and discrimination.
One accessible method to help relieve a person from stress and anxiety is getting a remedial massage. More than being a luxury, massage therapy offers several benefits. For one, it can help a person recover from soreness and tenseness felt in the muscles. It is also used to treat a variety of injuries including muscle atrophy, cramps, headaches, arthritis.
But apart from these benefits, regular massage therapy can be integrated into one’s mental hygiene regime. As the therapist kneads a person’s muscles, the nerve cell receptors are also activated, thus stimulating the release of endorphins, adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin which are associated with the feeling of happiness and wellbeing. At the same time, the presence of the stress-inducing hormone called cortisol is reduced. Regular massage treatment has also been found to have a direct effect on a person’s brain waves, particularly the alpha brain waves.
Apart from these, massage treatment is known to boost energy levels, creativity, self-esteem and the decrease of stress levels. People who suffer from stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, addiction and obsessiveness can benefit from getting massage therapy.
Do take note that massage therapy is not meant to replace treatment by a mental health professional. Rather, it can serve as a complement to such treatments. As such, it is important to find the right massage therapist. The therapist you choose should be properly trained, fully qualified, insured and accredited by a national association. It is equally helpful if the therapist has ties with the major private health funds especially if you want to avail of rebates. Finally, and probably most important of all, your therapist can tailor-fit a massage treatment to suit your individual needs.
Book an appointment now and experience relief both from your aches and pains as well as from stress and anxiety.
People spend a great amount of their waking life at work, probably more than at home or elsewhere. As such, it does not come as a surprise to see the rise of work-related injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries (RSI). Luckily, people suffering from these injuries can find relief through deep tissue massage. Melbourne therapists can help restore wellbeing and boost productivity in workers suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and RSIs.
Office workers, hunched over their computers for extended periods, are among the people most prone to these injuries. Among the reasons for this is poor posture, inadequate rest periods, poor design of workstations and the lack of ergonomic design in the tools used.
But office workers are not the only types of employees who succumb to work-related injuries. These injuries are also prevalent among people who work at grocery stores, mechanics, assembly line workers, butchers, carpenters and tradies.
Apart from the discomfort, these injuries can have far-ranging effects upon both the employees and businesses. These injuries can lead to a decline in productivity due to time lost from work. In some cases, a new employee must be trained to replace an injured employee. These injuries also increase the likelihood of higher insurance premiums. On the part of the injured worker, he or she may have to spend time and money towards rehabilitation, or worse, surgery.
One good thing about work-related injuries is that they can be easily prevented through simple measures. One quick fix employers can do is task rotation. Instead of assigning one employee to do a repetitive task during his or her entire shift, he or she can be assigned to do other work-related tasks to allow the muscles to get adequate rest.
Employers can also redesign the workstations of their employees to ensure maximum comfort and proper posture while performing simple tasks. In the same manner, employers can also provide employees with ergonomically designed equipment.
Employees should also be taught about best practices in the workplace to prevent injuries. This includes taking short breaks for stretching and exercises.
While prevention is indeed better than cure, if you are suffering from work-related injuries, you can use deep tissue massage to complement the treatment given by your medical professional. This type of massage is known to help relieve chronic pain in the back, shoulders and neck. It is also known to be beneficial to those suffering from strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome as well as postural problems.
Through the use of fingertips, knuckles, hands and elbows, an experienced massage therapist can help loosen an injured person’s muscles, improve circulation as well as release toxins. In addition, deep tissue massage can also be used to treat adhesions which limit a person’s range of motion due to pain and inflammation.