Regional pain syndrome, also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, is a chronic disease that’s characterized by long-lasting severe pain, swelling, and discoloration of the skin. In some cases, it may only affect a limb, but roughly a third of people who suffer from this disease report symptoms throughout their body. Whether you suffer from localized symptoms or whole-body symptoms, you can find relief through massage therapy.
Causes of Regional Pain Syndrome
Doctors and medical experts continue to debate over what exactly causes regional pain syndrome. With that said, the general belief is that it’s a type of central nervous system that’s often triggered by surgeries and/or injuries.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), the average age of people who suffer from regional pain syndrome is 40 and is much more common in women than men. However, anyone can develop regional pain syndrome at any given time during their life.
Massage Therapy for Regional Pain Syndrome
Among the most notable symptoms associated with regional pain syndrome is pain. Not surprisingly, the pain is often severe and debilitating, preventing people who suffer from this disease from performing otherwise normal tasks like driving or working. The good news is that massage therapy may offer a safe, all-natural solution to this pain.
Massage therapy works to manually stimulate the muscles and soft tissue, encouraging blood to flow more freely throughout the body. The increased blood flow is believed to help reduce pain by sending oxygen and nutrient-blood to the affected areas within the body. Of course, massage therapy is also useful for relieving stress – something that often goes hand-in-hand with regional pain syndrome and other diseases involving chronic pain.
If you are thinking about seeking massage therapy for the purpose of relieving regional pain syndrome, let your massage therapist know so that he or she can target the appropriate areas using the right pressure and technique.
Other Tips to Manage Regional Pain Syndrome
In addition to seeking massage therapy, there are other steps you can take to reduce the severity of regional pain syndrome. Placing a hot/cold compress on the area from which the pain is originating, for instance, may help. Heat is useful for stimulating blood flow and easing pain signals, while cold compresses are useful for numbing the area. Over-the-counter pain relievers may also help to reduce the pain of regional pain syndrome.
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