In otherwise healthy individuals, myofascial (muscles and tissue) pain is usually the result of a combination of factors. From postural habits to emotional tension and work related influences, a host of vectors will always “push and pull”, creating so called “trigger points”, highly sensitive and painful areas in the muscles. Deep Tissue Massage is a good way to deactivate them and alleviate the symptoms.
What you need:
Going to a generic massage “once every month” won’t solve your problem. You have to have several Deep Tissue Massage sessions with a therapist trained in Trigger Points Therapy.
How many? Although immediate improvements have always been reported, no professional therapist will tell you how many sessions will be needed, as each body has its own healing pattern. First session should be a comprehensive consultation and last around 90mins. From there on, just give feedback and see if the symptoms change. As a rule of thumb, if after three sessions there is no change, then you either have the wrong therapist or you need indeed referral to a different therapy specialist.
What to ask:
If the therapist has Deep Tissue training, if he is conversant with Trigger Points Techniques, if he or she has any palpation skills (essential for finding these tensed areas)
For your info:
The main muscles involved are: Back Pain - trapezius, erector spinae, rhomboids, serratus group and sometimes latissimus dorsi. For lumbar pain there are others but from your message I gather that you are talking more about the superior back. Neck Pain – Levator Scapulae, Splenius Cervicis, Semispinalis and of course, the mother of all headaches, SCM (Sternocleidomastoid)
A word of caution: Massage is able to alleviate the symptoms and bring back the balance in your affected myofascial area. However, without changes in your lifestyle, the problems will come back, so a long-lasting solution is always holistic. Check and improve your posture (see a specialist for that) and learn to relax and meditate. The list is not exhaustive but is a good place to start. Ah, and have some fun, laugh every day and the rest…, you know already …