Is it a good idea to massage or press the pain area on your shoulder or neck?
You might have asked one of your family members or friends to massage or push with their elbows on your neck or shoulder area when you feel pain. Sometimes it makes it better. Sometimes it doesn't. Right?
There are many signs which differentiate the type of muscle or joint pains. One of the important ones is the onset of the pain. This is the answer to the question " When did this pain start?"
Usually, when the pain appears quickly and the pain is very fresh (within the last one to three days), it's considered in its acute phase. In many cases, to deal with these type of pains especially if they are severe in nature, the area of the pain should not be pressured on. Why? Because it makes the pain worse .
As a general rule, if anytime you press on the pain area or massage it, you should ask yourself if the pain that you feel from the pressure is a pleasant one?
This means that although you feel a pain from that pressure but it feels like it will help the condition. Usually in these situations that pain level should go down after 30 to 45 seconds of applying the pressure. If it doesn't, you should stop the pressure and seek treatment from a therapist.
It's very common that pains which are acute in nature, don't get better by the pressure. Even if you get treatment from a massage therapist, he/she should use some muscle energy or PNF techniques to alleviate the pain. Applying pressure or using deep tissue massage techniques for these type of pains is absolutely wrong and makes the pain worse. Normal stretching is also not a good idea in these situations. Another effective treatment for these conditions is acupuncture. It can reduce the pathogens and the pain level. In fact, it might be one of the best solutions for these severe and acute conditions.
Another scenario is when you have been dealing with a pain for a long time. Let's say for a couple of weeks or months. Usually these cases are due to the deficiency of blood or energy because of a blockage. Based on my experience, in these cases, applying pressure on the pain area can alleviate the pain level at least for a short term. If you want to use pressure, you need to check if the pain level reduces and then increase your pressure untill the pain goes down again. You may repeat this cycle for 3 times and then stretch the related muscle region.
It's always a better option to seek a treatment from a professional therapist. However, I've shared this information to give you a general idea about dealing with muscular pains. This way, at least you don't make the condition worse.
Founder @Dur1 Health
Registered massage therapist (RMT), Certified personal trainer, Student Acupuncturist, Human Anatomy Instructor
E: email@example.com C: 416.726.4652