Music therapy is clinically proven to be beneficial in addressing physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs. There even are professional Music Therapists who address the strengths and needs of their clients. Music can be a great way to find words or rhythms that express what you are feeling. I have not personally had the pleasure of meeting with a music therapist, but I do incorporate music into many aspects of my life and found that it reduces my pain level, frustrations, and anxiety. It really lifts my mood.
I personally use Pandora for my music collection. I have a workout playlist that I created back in the day when I could run. I love this playlist because it takes me back to those days that I felt the most athletic ever in my life. I can still feel the wind in my hair, my feet hitting the concrete path, and the image of other runners passing me by , smiling, and waving. It completely energizes me. I have plans to purchase waterproof headphones soon, now that I am limited to swimming. I definitely want to continue the tradition of an upbeat music workout. I also have other romantic or relaxation playlists, such as classics like Nat King Cole. I also enjoy the 80-90’s playlist when I want to reminisce of the ol’ days. Being a Christian, I have a playlist for praising and worshiping my God who continues to be a wonderful and loving Father towards me.
I HIGHLY recommend finding music genre’s that meet your needs. There are even some free apps for streaming on your smartphone, or you can do what my mother-in-law does, which is create an mp3 list.
Physical therapy (PT) has improved MY health above ALL else. PT is prescribed by your provider and focuses on improving your strength and movement. A physical therapist performs a comprehensive exam of your motility, strength, flexibility, etc. They help you identify problem areas and together you can develop personal goals. Your physical therapist has a masters or doctorate level degree and perform hands on therapy. They provide you with exercises to do in clinic and at home. You may see your PT anywhere from 1-5 days per week or even biweekly, depending on what works for you. I currently see mine about 1-2 days per week, because he does an excellent job loosening up my spine and hips with his hands on approach. Currently, I have a prescription for both hips and my neck. When I feel that I need additional therapy days, I have my prescription renewed or extended by my medical provider. I find that if I stick to my prescribed exercises on a daily basis, my chronic pains are lessened and mobility is improved. These exercises strengthen my core and help to prevent over/under compensation of adjacent muscles to the injury. Keep in mind that when you have completed your prescribed PT, it is important to continue those exercises at home for as long as your problem exists (which is life long for myself).
Here are some links below to some physical therapy exercises, but please collaborate with your medical provider before proceeding with these exercises. It is important to first make sure that you do not have a serious injury requiring imaging for surgical intervention.
Physical Therapy for HIP PAIN: https://www.verywellhealth.com/physical-therapy-exercises-for-hip-pain-5090171
Physical therapy for NECK PAIN: https://www.verywellhealth.com/gentle-neck-stretching-exercises-2696365
Massage therapy has helped me just as much, if not more than physical therapy. There are so many different types of massage and it is important to have a conversation with your therapist about expectations. A good massage therapist will listen to your needs, identify the right type of massage for you, and personalize the care that they are providing to you. I undergo a weekly massage and absolutely love my massage therapist because she has an excellent understanding of my anatomy. She understands my congenital hip defects, my physical limitations, and the source of my chronic pains. She can lay her hands on my body and can read my problem areas without me even having to tell her. Now, not all massage therapists are made the same and it is important to try out different therapists until you identify what works for you. You need to be brave and communicate if the pressure is too hard or too light. Communicate if you need more or less work done in certain areas. You may not know what all to communicate with your therapist, but this will come with time and experience.
I have provided a link below that gives excellent description of the different types of massages. Swedish massage is with light touch and more for relaxation, which is a great way to start out if new to receiving massage. Reflexology focuses on pressure points in the ears, hands and feet that are effective in providing relief in other parts of the body. This is a good option if you are not comfortable with full body massage. Aromatherapy massage is using essential oils that can have an added benefit of reducing depression, stress, and anxiety. I personally undergo Deep tissue massage with incorporated passive stretches for those tight areas in my body. It is great for chronic pains and muscle tension. You may not always feel relaxed during this massage. My massage therapist is also phenomenal at Trigger point massage. For example, she pushes deep into my abdominal cavity, pushing on my iliopsoas tendon while at the same time stretching out my leg. This relieves much of my hip tightness and improves my balance.
Massage therapy can be expensive at some locations, but take a look at it through a chiropractor office (which is what I do), as insurance will usually cover massage for a medical condition.