Chronic Pain and Symptom Management, 3 CE

NCBTMB Approved Massage Continuing Education

Chronic pain is not only challenging for the person experiencing it, but for family members, physicians, and massage therapists as well. A number of massage treatments and adjunct therapies are available that can help manage chronic pain conditions caused by traumatic injuries, illness, autoimmune conditions, as well as disease processes but for many, there is no cure. However, throughout this massage therapy continuing education course, it is important for the massage or bodywork professional to understand that pain – especially chronic pain – has different implications for different people. You’ll find that signs, symptoms, pain severity, recovery times, etc. will vary due to a number of seemingly endless factors such as injury onset, age, re-injury, overall general health, initial and long-term care, emotional states…specific client issues can go on and on.

Throughout this course, you will not only learn about different types of pain, massage therapies and techniques to help relieve it, you will also learn how pain not only affects the body, but the psyche – the spirit and the soul of the person dealing with it. For many, chronic pain causes severe emotional and social issues.

The massage therapist is also cautioned against making assumptions about a person’s pain complaints. Pain is subjective. Pain sensations, severity, and perceptions of pain are unique to every individual. What triggers pain in your own body may not hurt someone else or vice versa. Pain cannot be measured, tested, photographed, or otherwise documented on film, x-ray, or the latest in digital technology.

For this reason, the massage professional must always listen carefully to the client when it comes to techniques utilized to help relieve pain, stiffness, and discomfort. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has researched and tested patients dealing with chronic pain. They have discovered that those experiencing chronic pain may have decreased endorphin* levels in their spinal fluid. (Endorphins are chemicals produced by the body to relieve stress and pain)

Dealing with a client or patient experiencing chronic pain that can last months or a lifetime can be – and often is – intimidating for physicians, health care team providers, and massage therapists, regardless of training and experience. Chronic pain is serious, as seen by the number of professional associations that attempt to help those experiencing it. These include but are not limited to:

  • The American Chronic Pain Association
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • Migraine Research Foundation
  • American Headache Society
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Over 5,000 clinical trials are currently underway in the United States – and throughout the world, focusing on chronic pain.

If a massage therapist does not have the experience or training to treat injuries, the therapist can often make the situation worse. The information found in this course will assist you in making informed decisions regarding individual client care and approach when treating injuries.


  • Below is a list of practice exam questions
  • You may download and print a copy of the questions and use them while you read through the course.
  • Important exam information is highlighted in RED throughout the course material.
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  • Once you’ve completed each section, complete the COURSE EVALUATION to move ahead to the EXAM QUESTIONS.
  • Once you’ve passed the exam with a 70%, you may print, download and/or save your certificate.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to save your certificate for 5 years which is required by state regulations.
  • Take the exam as many times as you like.
  • Once you’ve completed the course, return to MY ACCOUNT to take your next course.
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  1. Question
    Acute pain is defined in length as:
  2. Question
    Biofeedback information is gathered by:
  3. Question
    Tinnitus can be described as 
  4. Question
    Repetitive Use Syndrome is also known as Over-Use Syndrome and:
  5. Question
    Nerve impingement can be defined as:
  6. Question
    What does the term “Idiopathic”mean?
  7. Question
    When referring to the R.I.C.E. protocol or treatment when addressing an acute injury, the “E” refers to:
  8. Question
    Heat is always contraindicated in which state or stage of the healing process?
  9. Question
    When massage around varicose veins, it is always important to:
  10. Question
    Acupressure is a methodology that also strives to restore health by restoring
  11. Question
    What makes Thai massage unique is that it also provides a variety of
  12. Question
    For the most part, Lomi Lomi is done with
  13. Question
    One of the “founders” of Neuromuscular or Trigger Point Therapies is:
  14. Question
    Two primary categories of myofascial techniques are commonly known as:
  15. Question
    One of the most common therapies used to treat common pain is:
  16. Question
    The inventor of Watsu was:
  17. Question
    _______________________is just the opposite of heat therapy, utilizing ice or cool or cold water temperatures to treat injured body parts.
  18. Question
    Pain is  ________________ to the individual experiencing it