You don’t need to, in the majority of cases these injuries are self limiting and will remedy in a week or two.
What can I do?
Keep active and don’t load the area for a few days to lower the inflammation. Once the area stops hurting you can load it again.
What happens if it still hurts after a week or 2?
Again the reason is probably that you keep loading the area and it is not having the chance to get out of its inflammatory stage. Reduce the load or adapt adapt any behaviours to stop irritating the area.
It’s still hurting and it’s been over 3 months now?
Well we are now in the chronic definition of an injury/pathology. This means that there may very well be sensitisation of the area and all interventions are going to be less effective. It may be worth going to see your doctor who can refer you to a specialist.
Yes it can!!! There is evidence to say that massage can reduce pain in the short term of an acute injury.
So why isn’t it funded by the NHS and why isn’t everyone getting massages?
Well it’s unlikely a massage has any causal effect that will remedy your injury.
But you said it was effective??!!
I said it was effective, not efficacious. The difference is that insulin can be proven to be efficacious as it is provable to observe a direct cause of insulin changing glucose into glycogen in the blood. That is to say we have a causal link from the drug to an effect. In the case of massage we have a correlation of less pain in the short term compared to no treatment.
But this is effective! I mean it works, it’s observed and is empirically demonstrated!
We must widen our scope to other interventions and their effects, acupuncture, laser therapy, craniotherapy are all effective for relieving pain and can be extremely convincing for those that have experienced them.
The case of laser therapy is a good one as we can “sham” the effect. This means we have a control study with an arbitrary wavelength of light and compare it to a group of people exposed to the supposed “efficacious” wavelength of light.
The patients and experimenters are blinded (not literally) and we see no significant effects between both groups although both groups have a similar pain relieving effect.
So your saying I shouldn’t get a massage?
Why not get a massage! indeed why not get any treatment I’ve described above, it is likely you will lessen the pain in the short term and considering in most acute injuries they are self limiting and will remedy in a couple of weeks you can save yourself some pain.
I suggest you think of the cost, is it worth £35 for a 30 minute sports massage to relieve the symptoms of pain until your body can remedy itself, this is a choice for the individual.
I’m in pain, should I get a massage?
The is very little evidence that massage will reduce your pain symptoms, you really don’t need to get a massage.
Is a massage good for your body?
There is no evidence to suggest it has any benefit other then making you feel good (in the case that you enjoy being massaged)
I’m in pain though what can I do?!!
If you have recently had pain symptoms in the majority of cases you have irritated something and it is best to reduce the load until it can heal itself, this does not mean you have to rest, keep as active as you have been but try alternating your exercise or adapt your behaviour to let the inflammation go down and then go back to reloading it.
But I’ve been in pain for over 3 months its driving me crazy!!!!
Im really really sorry but massage is not going to help you. You have my deepest sympathies as chronic pain seems to be a terrible and persistent issue. There is evidence that exercise can have a mild effect on the reduction of symptoms.
What exercises should I do?
Anything you enjoy doing, there are no specific exercises that will help you more significantly better then others. If the activity causes you pain, reduce the level at which you are participating or adapt the way you do it to reduce your symptoms.
My osteopath/chiropractor/personal trainer/physiotherapy has told me to do these specific exercises to remedy my pain. Should I continue doing them?
Yes, go nuts. They will likely help you if they are active exercises that requires you to activate your muscles. If they are passive exercises like stretching, mobilisation or massage then they are probably not evidence based practitioners. This does not mean that they are wrong!!! There are instances where well controlled studies cannot be funded or even possible to attain evidence for a variety of modalities, its a sticky subject. If you feel benefit from anything you are prescribed then keep doing them.
Wow you’re amazingly honest and brilliant!