When it comes to choosing a home-study course to further your knowledge in massage therapy, there are many choices.

Sure, there are those that are requirements by state and national licensing boards to keep your status current. But there are also others offered that can be tailored to specific interests to help expand your practice and expertise.

When browsing the selections offered on the Internet, keep in mind what courses might be able to reinforce the modalities and techniques you already use. There are courses that teach specific modalities, but there are others that offer general knowledge like pain management. The knowledge learned in courses like this can be applied to a variety of specific modalities, such as oncology massage.

A variety of pain-management courses are available through home-study instruction. Some of the courses offered include those for sports injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger-point therapy, orthopedic disorders, tendonitis, migraines, arthritis, and myoskeletal alignment, among many others.

Sports-massage techniques can reduce the chance of injury to the client by using proper stretching, preparation and deep-tissue massage. Massage can also shorten recovery time between activities, improve the athletes’ range of motion, break down scar tissue, increase blood flow and tissue permeability, improve tissue elasticity, and reduce pain and anxiety.

Trigger-point therapy can be used to treat headaches, stiffness in the neck, bursitis, tennis elbow, back pain, sciatica, shin splints and other injuries that occur from accidents, sports, occupations and disease.

For orthopedic disorders, home-study courses include topics that cover the treatment of subscapularis tendinitis, tennis elbow, lateral ankle sprain, patella tendinitis and Achilles tendinitis. The courses also delve into teaching about massage techniques and musculoskeletal disorders, along with thermal modalities, treatment aids and the physiological effects.

Some of the benefits of pain management include released chronic muscular tension and pain, improved circulation, increased joint flexibility, reduced mental fatigue, reduced stress, improved posture and reduced blood pressure.

Make sure to check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for continuing education credits.