Foot Massage Decreases our Perception of Pain
Updated: Feb 2
Pain has many different causes. Ranging from the psychological, to neural, to purely physical, it often combines many of these elements, making it a difficult condition to treat. It is a highly subjective experience, and one person’s agonising pain will be something that another person lives with day to day. So how does foot massage help with pain?
If we look back at the ways that foot massage effects people, we see both physical effects and psychological effects. It provides social care, an increase in endorphins, and decreased stress levels. So it makes sense that when these things are effected, pain becomes easier to deal with. A study looking at how the perception of pain was affected by foot massage showed marked decreases in postoperative pain – so much so that the use of opioids in patients who received massage decreased when compared to the control groups.
This effect is most likely due to the ability of massage to treat several aspects of pain. We’ve already talked in this article about how massage affects parts of the brain involved in pain modulation, and how it also increases endorphin levels, and decreases stress levels.
Massage also provides a social element. Someone is taking care of you. It also has the potential to address the source of the pain. Deep tissue massage and massage focuses on the joints, looking to immediately effect the cause of the pain.
By combining an element of physical benefit, social benefit and psychological benefit, foot massage is able to effectively address multiple source of pain.
Pain is a highly complicated phenomenon. As foot massage affects several different aspects of ourselves (physical, social and psychological), foot massage can be used effectively to treat pain.