Types of massage therapies for neuropathy symptoms
- Swedish massage. Swedish massage is widely recognized as the most prevalent form of massage. It incorporates five fundamental strokes and primarily targets the muscles and connective tissues to enhance circulation, induce relaxation, alleviate pain, and support overall health and well-being.
- Geriatric massage. Geriatric massage is a specialized practice that focuses on providing care to the elderly, commonly within resident-care facilities, and attending to their unique needs associated with aging, depression and illness. Typically, geriatric massage sessions are shorter, utilizing gentle techniques to promote pain relief, relaxation and a sense of overall well-being.
- Deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage involves deliberate, slow strokes, as well as direct pressure or friction applied against the muscle grain, utilizing fingers, thumbs or elbows. Deep tissue massage offers many advantages for a range of conditions, encompassing injuries, chronic pain and specific diseases.
- Neuromuscular therapy (NMT). Its primary goals are to enhance blood flow, relieve muscle tension knots and ease pain or pressure on nerves. This therapy is also referred to as trigger point therapy because it involves applying concentrated finger pressure to “trigger points” to effectively reduce muscular pain.
Benefits of massages for peripheral neuropathy
- Improved range of motion
- Increased flexibility
- Helps with paresthesia and nerve pain
- Reduced spasms and cramping
- Enhanced sleep quality
- Increased circulation
- Decreased anxiety
Risks of massages for peripheral neuropathy
Although massage therapy has a low risk of harm, some messages can leave you feeling sore. However, any kind of excessive pain needs to be reported to your therapist right away. Here are some things to keep in mind when considering massage therapy:
- Avoid massaging any area of your body that has a blood clot, weakened bone, wound or skin infection.
- Vigorous massages can cause pain to older adults due to weakened bones.
- Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Blood clot
- Increased risk of injury
- Nerve injury
- Recent surgery or chemotherapy
What should I know before considering massage therapy?
Make sure your therapist has a proper license to practice. If the massage therapist proposes incorporating other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices, such as herbs, supplements, or specific diets, discuss these recommendations with your primary healthcare provider before proceeding.
While massage therapy cannot cure neuropathy, it can be a valuable complementary approach to help individuals experience a better quality of life. If you or your loved one is living with neuropathy, consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified massage therapist before incorporating massages into your wellness routine.
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- “Peripheral Neuropathy”. Cleveland Clinic
- “Massage for Neuropathy”. The Foundation of Peripheral Neuropathy
- “What to know about deep tissue massage”. Medical News Today
- “Massage Therapy: What You Need To Know”. National Institutes of Health
What are the benefits of massage for peripheral neuropathy?
Improved range of motion
Helps with paresthesia and nerve pain
Reduced spasms and cramping
Enhanced sleep quality
Is massage good for peripheral neuropathy?
For individuals with peripheral neuropathy, several massage techniques can be employed to manage symptoms effectively. These therapies aim to alleviate pain, enhance flexibility, improve circulation and provide other benefits that aid in peripheral neuropathy management.
What are the risks of massage for peripheral neuropathy?
Avoid massaging any area of your body that has a blood clot, weakened bone, wound or skin infection.
Vigorous massages can cause pain to older adults due to weakened bones.
Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:
Increased risk of injury
Recent surgery or chemotherapy