Massage Therapy Can Help Ease Back Pain

Lower back pain is a common condition affecting many of us at some point in our lives and can interfere with the simplest of activities such as bending forward to pick up an item or doing our work on a computer.

If you suffer from this condition, massage therapy, which may seem like a luxury for those who enjoy indulging in spas, should be part of your regular health routine to manage pain, heal and supplement other medical treatments.

Amazing advantages of massage therapy

Massage therapy by the trained professionals at Evergreen Rehab & Wellness can extend the benefits of physical therapy, chiropractic treatment and medical care.

Massage can be one part of a medical professional’s treatment plan that includes exercise and stretching, and there’s no set amount of sessions recommended, but having a regular appointment is important.

Regular massage therapy can speed recovery from surgery or injury restoring muscle tone, function and mobility and significantly reducing pain from inflammation of muscles in spasm that are unable to move.

The pressure applied to soft tissue relaxes tight muscles causing increased range of motion and flexibility of muscles, reducing swelling and nerve compression.

It helps improve blood circulation which brings nutrients to muscles and surrounding tissue helping sore or weak muscles recover from physical activity and injury and reducing soreness.

It generates increased endorphins, feel good chemicals in the brain, that reduce pain, produce a sense of euphoria, ease depression and anxiety and improve sleep.

Massage therapy at Gesund triggers an involuntary relaxation response from the nervous system causing your heart and breathing rates to slow down and your blood pressure and stress hormones to decrease.

You can ask your therapist to include Himalayan salt stones, heating pads or warm towels during your treatment to help your muscles relax and release more tension.

Also Read: How To Lose Weight Without Exercising

Common causes of back pain

Many people with lower back pain fear their pain is related to structural problems or a fragile spine, but usually it is a muscular imbalance causing changes in posture that leads to pain.

Lower back pain can be caused by aging, sitting for hours at a time, a lack of physical activity, lifting heavy items incorrectly, a sudden movement, injury, poor posture, obesity or stress. 

When a person spends a lot of time sitting, the hip flexor muscles can shorten and tighten the muscles in the lower back, eventually weakening the abdominal core and gluteal muscles.

This is known as lower cross syndrome and often effects obese people who live sedentary lifestyles.

Stress can also cause muscles to tighten so they become more prone to injuries like strains or tears where inflammation develops causing spasms and pain.

Those who suffer with anxiety tend to have a more sensitive nervous system and heightened awareness of pain and can also become more stressed causing more pain.

Diseases like Osteoarthritis, where cartilage between aligning facet joints in the spine becomes inflamed or spinal disc degeneration, where cartilage starts to wear away creating friction due to bone-on-bone contact, can also cause lower back pain. While spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spaces within your spine, puts pressure on the nerves going through your spine, which can be painful. 

Winning styles to ease your pain

There are two main types of massage therapy which are full-body and structural massage and all massage styles at Evergreen Rehab & Wellness and Gesund are likely to help relieve pain.

Full body massage therapy promotes general relaxation, while structural massage therapy uses spine massage techniques targeting specific muscles and connective tissue to relieve lower back pain.

The style that will have the best impact in relieving your pain depends on what is causing your pain and your preferences as a patient.

Spine massage therapy relieves muscle tension and helps restore balance in the working of the muscles in the lower back and is usually used in combination with treatment including over-the-counter medications, exercise, posture improvement and physical therapy.

Swedish massage is a full body gentle massage for relaxation that relieves muscle knots by using long, smooth strokes or circular and kneading motion on the outer muscle layers.

Deep tissue massage therapy is a whole-body massage that uses pressure to relieve tension in deeper layers of connective tissues and muscles.

Neuromuscular Massage Therapy involves applying alternating levels of pressure to find points of pain caused by tightness in muscle tissues and when the spot is located, concentrated pressure is applied.

Shiatsu, a Japanese style whole body massage, uses finger pressure on acupuncture points and may also use neuromuscular therapy techniques to focus on areas of pain in the body needing attention.

Consulting with a trained professional

After a massage, you may feel slightly sore, but the pain should not be severe and should completely disappear within 36 hours, while muscles remain relaxed for up to two weeks.

It is important to talk to your medical professional about your lower back pain and develop a plan of action for living a pain-free life.

Be open about problem areas and potential causes of your pain, so you can help them locate tension areas and treat you best.