Massage and Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common complaints heard by doctors and massage therapists today. It is highly likely that you will experience some level of back pain at some point during your life. Unfortunately, if the condition does not resolve quickly, you can end up with chronic back pain that can become difficult to treat. The good news is that regular massage treatments can help you manage your back pain and lead a healthier life.
What Causes Back Pain?
Back pain can appear anywhere along your spine, leading to the development of neck pain, mid-back pain, and lower back pain. The most common causes are muscle spasms, sprains or strains of tendons or ligaments, herniated discs, or a variety of degenerative disorders related to the spine.
It is always recommended to get a thorough medical examination if you have chronic back or neck pain to eliminate any serious structural or physiological issues with your spine. X-rays and MRIs of the relevant area can help determine the best treatments for you. If you suddenly experience any unusually symptoms with your back pain, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.
Try to avoid suppressing your back pain with over-the-counter pain killers. While these drugs may provide temporary relief of back pain, they do not help resolve your condition and may cause unwanted side-effect or develop into chemical dependency.
How Can Massage Help Back Pain?
Back pain can be a difficult condition to treat, especially if it is something that you have been suffering from for awhile. Often, the cause is related to a postural or repetitive stress on the body. Fortunately, regular massage treatments can help identify which muscles are tight and begin to dissolve this tension to provide relief.
Depending on the severity of your back pain, it may be necessary to have several massage treatments before you have sustainable relief of your back pain. Consult with your massage therapist for the proper frequency of treatment best suited to your condition.
When treating back pain, it is advisable for you to use several methods of massage together to enhance your recovery. Often, an experienced massage therapist will have training in several styles of massage allowing them to use a variety of techniques to help your back pain decrease without having to empty your bank account.
Here are some well-known styles of massage that can be beneficial for back pain:
Swedish massage can be an excellent way to start treatment for back pain. The relaxing oil-based massage can release of many of the surface muscles and decrease the emotional stress that may be contributing to your back pain condition.
Deep Tissue Massage:
Deep tissue massage is commonly used in conjunction with Swedish massage to work the deeper muscles of the back. Hard compression and cross fiber friction can be applied to your back muscles to break up any adhesions or scar tissue that may be causing your back pain.
Trigger Point Therapy:
Trigger point therapy can be used to release muscles in your back that are in spasm. By applying steady pressure on the knots in your muscles, you can “reset” the muscle and release the spasm. This will allow fresh blood and nutrients to flow through the area and promote healing. Trigger Point therapy is excellent at correcting postural imbalances of muscles, a common cause of back pain.
Helpful Tips for Back Pain
Always seek an experienced, certified massage therapist for treatment:
There are many techniques of massage that can help, but they can also aggravate a back pain condition. The massage therapist should never work directly on any area that is acutely swollen or inflamed.
Stretching and Exercise can help rehabilitate your back:
Back pain often occurs due to muscle imbalances or weakness in your body. By regularly stretching and performing core strengthening exercises, you can decrease your back pain and prevent it from coming back. Hamstring tightness is a common cause of back pain. Yoga can be an excellent method to both stretch and strengthen you body when performed correctly.
If your back pain is not preventing you from moving, keep active:
By immobilizing yourself when you feel back pain, you maybe preventing circulation of blood through you back that can assist your body’s self-healing mechanisms.
Maintain good posture and get a good quality mattress:
The way you stand and sit places significant strain on your back. This can lead to back and neck pain if you are not aligned properly. You should try to always maintain a natural spine position. Consider a lumbar support cushion for your car seat or desk chair. Also, make sure your mattress is providing proper support when you sleep; often, a worn out mattress can lead to back pain.