One of the most often presented conditions that massage therapists encounter is chronic pain, making pain management and relief a chief goal of a massage session. Sometimes though, regular massage therapy may not be enough to relieve this kind of pain, and clients may rely on traditional Western medicine for help. The most common doctor-prescribed medications for chronic pain relief are steroids, particularly Prednisone, which is primarily used as an anti-inflammatory. Since this medication is so common, it is likely that many of your clients are taking it for pain relief. This makes it absolutely necessary for massage therapists to know and understand any and all possible contraindications with this drug.
Taking Prednisone for chronic pain may offer tremendous relief to your clients, but it is not without its share of side effects. Some of the most common side effects of this steroid include headaches, dizziness, fatigue and muscle weakness. These and other side effects are things that every massage therapist should be aware of so that they can adjust their massage accordingly, and provide the safest and most beneficial therapeutic treatment possible. Another important aspect of Prednisone to be aware of is its ability to inhibit calcium absorption, thus contributing to weak and fragile bones.
Due to the many possible side effects of this drug and, in order to ensure the client’s safety, bodyworkers treating clients taking Prednisone should opt for light, gentle massage strokes in favor of deep muscle work. It is important for you and your client to stay in close contact with the client’s physician so that he or she can monitor any developing conditions that may result from this medication.
Read more about the benefits and drawbacks of taking Prednisone for pain management, as well as the steroid’s impact on massage, by reading this entire article here.