Massage Therapy to treat peripheral neuropathy

by | Jan 3, 2023

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Circulation in the arms and legs is compromised and the blood vessels themselves become obstructed beginning with the small capillaries. That results in the surrounding tissue and nerves with not enough nutrients and oxygen, causes nerves to malfunction and sending signals to the brain of pain, tingling, burning and numbness.

What can cause peripheral neuropathy?

  • Diabetes
  • Chemotherapy
  • injury

What can be done to improve symptoms?

Peripheral neuropathy massage may be painful to the client; however, the goal is to gradually increase pressure so that eventually all the tissue is being worked on (down to the bone). This process may take up to several months depending on the severity and the cooperation of the client.

The client also must perform daily self-care in order to improve the tissue damage. Self-care includes performing full range of motion in the joints, self-massage and stimulating the skin, all without causing any pain.
Massage can de-stress the nerves that are causing you issues like tingling, numbness, and burning. These discomforts are eased when massaged muscles loosen, placing less pressure on the nerves. At the same time, endorphins that tend to be released with massage act as your body’s natural painkillers, further minimizing neuropathy pain.

Other benefits that a massage can have for those with neuropathy include the restoration of mobility that may have been lost due to your condition, as well as an increase in circulation, which helps to bring healing nutrients to your damaged nerves and in turn relieve symptoms.

To be the most effective the goal is to be consistent with weekly massages and daily self-care until the symptoms resolve/improve.

-Kaitlyn St. Martin, RMT

Step-By-Step Massage Therapy Protocols for Common Conditions by Charlotte Michael Versagi Published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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