by Sidney McDonald


! !  PAIN  ! !



Pain is the most common of reasons for physician consultations, as well as a major symptom in many medical conditions. Pain can interfere with our quality of life and life itself. People use simple pain medication in 20-70% of cases, but these are temporary solutions at best.


Wikipedia defines pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage…however, due to it being a complex, subjective phenomenon, defining pain has been a challenge. In medical diagnosis, pain is regarded as a symptom of an underlying condition.


No matter the definition, we all know that pain hurts. We all know someone who is in some kind of pain all the time (if not ourselves). Pain motivates us:

 to withdraw from damaging situations,

to protect a damaged body part while it heals,

and to avoid similar experiences in the future.

This is how pain teaches us. Most pain resolves once the noxious stimulus is removed and the body has had time to heal itself. It may persist despite removal of the stimulus and apparent healing of the body. Sometimes pain arises in the absence of any detectable stimulus, damage or disease. This is why pain is so insidious in our lives. In recent times, pain has been used as an argument to permit people who are terminally ill to end their lives.


Modern research now supports Massage Therapy for non-pharmacological pain management. Based on the most recent evidence, massage therapy, compared to no treatment, should be strongly recommended as a pain management option. Massage therapy is conditionally recommended for reducing pain and improving mood and health-related quality of life, compared to other active comparators.5

Pain is multi-dimensional and may be better addressed through an integrative holistic approach. Massage therapy is commonly used among people seeking pain management and research has generally supported its use. But, until now there has been no published, rigorous review of the available research and evidence for its efficacy for people with various types of pain. Based on the evidence, massage therapy can provide significant improvement for pain, anxiety and health-related quality of life for those looking to manage their pain.


Pain is a major public health concern, affecting approximately 100 million Americans. It is currently recognized as the most compelling reason for an individual to seek medical attention, and accounts for approximately 80% of physician visits. Not only are individuals affected, but also our families, the national economy and our health systems. It is estimated that chronic pain accounts for approximately $600 billion in annual health care expenditures and lost productivity. This annual cost is greater than the cost of other national priority health conditions, highlighting the significant economic burden of pain.


I suggest those who have pain that has persisted for more than a couple weeks, and have been taking pain killers for it, should investigate massage therapies. Massage is extremely cost effective when correctly utilized for pain mitigation and management. Massage is non-invasive and non-pharmacologic. Consult with your health insurer to see their perspective and procedures. Insurers must include complementary and alternative medical therapies, but it can be (and often is) bureaucratic miasma. This may be complicated, and many prefer to pay out of pocket.





Sidney McDonald, B.S., LMT
Certified Geriatric Massage Therapist

You owe it to yourself.

Massage by HARAMBE

Sidney McDonald             412.654.3749