Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Use it or lose it--avoiding back pain

>Human tissue needs to be exposed to loads to become strong<
>Human tissue needs to be exposed to loads to become strong<
>Human tissue needs to be exposed to loads to become strong<
In other words, "use it or lose it"
Massage can help you with pain, yes - but the ultimate strategy for avoiding many common pain experiences is gradual, graded exposure of the tissues to load.
From the article
>Human tissue needs to be exposed to loads to become strong – and the spine is a good example of this. Regular loading prepares the joints, muscle and ligaments for normal tasks. Nobody would expect to run a marathon without preparing the body for such loading, so it seems logical that to be able to lift a weight requires exposure to that activity. – and the spine is a good example of this. <

https://theconversation.com/best-way-to-avoid-back-pain-lift-heavy-things-93702

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Learning WHY you hurt can reduce your pain

Can a program of pain neuroscience education combined with cognition-targeted motor control training reduce pain and improve function?

According to this triple-blinded, well-designed study - it seems that the answer is yes.
(this is why I, as a massage therapist who treats people in pain, offer painscience resources and recommend movement therapy)

Note that in this study:
  • They expected to find certain changes in the grey matter, in the brain itself...and did not. Admitting this indicates that the data is reliable, and does not suffer from confirmation bias.
  • The fact that these changes were not found is interesting.
Read it to learn more (includes a link to the study itself)https://www.medpagetoday.com/neurology/painmanagement/72374

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

CRPS - a variety of articles from the epicenter of painscience

I have not yet read all of these articles--I am simply bookmarking them here for myself and for any people searching for information who stumble across this post.

The source, https://bodyinmind.org/ is based at the  University of South Australia in Adelaide, and Neuroscience Research Australia in Sydney. The amazing Lorimer Moseley "leads the group in undertaking research that traverses ‘the translational pipeline’ from fundamental behavioural and physiological experiments in humans, to major randomised controlled trials and prognostic studies."

https://bodyinmind.org/?s=CRPS.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Massage and Back Pain - one of the better studies

There is surprisingly little research--real research--into how, why, or if massage actually helps with pain.

Why is that? Well, for one thing, a study needs a control group--people who think they are getting a treatment or medication, who aren't. Well, how do you do 'fake' massage? You can't--the person in the control group will know if they are being massaged or not!

Most of us know, instinctively, that massage feels good, is calming, is helpful for the nervous system. It is a rare person who does not crave a good shoulder rub when neck and shoulders are stiff and painful from sitting, driving, schlepping little kids around, digging ditches, milking cows, pruning trees (personal experience here!)

Here is the study--one of the better ones on the subject.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3570565/

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Under your Skin: How you perceive touch

This is a great picture, showing how touches on your skin is perceived by your brain - including, of course, how massage is perceived.
Via mechanoreceptors in the skin, your brain collects information such as pressure and temperature. Your brain then evaluates where you are, checks to see if you have been in this place or this situation before, and decides what to do. If the brain decides you are in danger--if, for example you touch a sharp needle and prick your finger, the brain will take you to safety--by making your finger hurt, and activate muscles to make you pull your finger away.
It is important to understand that, although there are different kinds of mechanoreceptors in your skin, there is no such thing as a 'pain receptor'.
The picture is from this article, which explores if keratinocytes, the most common cells in the outer layer of skin, the epidermis, have a role in touch sensation, and how they communicates communicate with cell-sensory neuron communication, The researchers postulate that this may allow for easy, non-invasive treatment options for pain currently in use--specifically topical analgesics and antipruritics.

Schematic diagram depicting the proposed mechanism for ATP release induced by mechanical stimulation of keratinocytes and its interaction with P2X4 on sensory nerve endings.
Touching of the skin, and therefore the mechanical stimulation of keratinocytes, elicits release of factors such as ATP, which in turn, acts on P2X4 and possibly other receptors on sensory neurons found within the epidermis, thereby causing action potential firing in the neurons and downstream effects leading to touch perception.

Have you wondered why, for example, after years of yoga, you cannot sit in a perfect lotus, while others manage it effortlessly? The answer...