Treating chronic pain in older people is especially important as it can become a real issue and have a negative impact on their lives. A lot of people past the age of 65 will experience pain caused by a health problem. Some will admit to having significant pain, and the numbers increase for those living in nursing homes. Chronic pain and decreased social contact can make massage therapy a particularly effective treatment approach for the elderly. Massage therapy can reduce the pain of some chronic diseases and minor injuries. It can help with muscle spasms and stiffness, and increases mobility, whilst providing the all important, physical and social interaction.
Because massage therapy can be used in two ways, either to relax or to stimulate, it elicits both calming and responsive effects. Massage can alleviate anxiety by inducing relaxation, but it can also stimulate the nervous system to maintain nerve passageways.
The technique for massaging older people compared to massage for regular adults has very little difference. However the techniques used should be lighter, as an aging body requires a little extra tender loving care. The massage therapist needs to be aware that an elderly body must be positioned carefully on a massage table, compared to that of a healthy 30-year-old body. Care should be taken in the positioning of an older client, and once positioned on the massage table, movement should be kept to a minimum.
The massage sessions will typically range from 30-mintues to an hour. However, when mobility is an issue and the client is only able to sit in a chair or wheelchair, the massage therapist will have to adapt and the massage can take longer.
The benefits of massage are numerous:
- Encouraging circulation,
- Decreasing muscular stiffness
- Helping to decrease inflammation of the joints.
- Muscle tone
- Respiratory problems.
Careful massage can help provide the older person with symptomatic relief and enable them to extend the vitality in their lives. It is also essential to continue with some light to moderate exercise – as the addage goes……”use it or lose it…..!”
Chiltern Sports Massage runs a massage and injury rehab clinic for older clients in Little Kingshill, but can also make home visits.
Please call 07795 030847 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.