Massage is an excellent, non-invasive way to relieve back tension and the pain associated with it. Massage Therapy for back pain can also be a very helpful relaxation technique because it releases endorphins, which create feelings of euphoria and happiness in the brain.
Many physicians in the medical community are promoting massage as a viable option for reducing back pain, or for massage to be used in conjunction with other procedures to facilitate faster recovery time. Massage can also help with overall health concerns and provides psychological benefits, including:
- Recovery of sore muscles or injury by helping the blood supply provide nutrients to the tissues
- Relieving tension “knots” in the back or shoulder muscles, which many people acquire due to stress
- Improvement in the quality of sleep
- Releasing endorphins which help reduce symptoms of Depression
- Stress reduction
- Elimination of toxins in the muscles
Other Back Problems Benefited by Massage Therapy
Lifting something too heavy, an accident, or a fall can cause injury or muscle strain in the lower back. Something as simple as bending over to pick up a newspaper can cause the back to spasm, which often immobilizes the patient for several hours or even days. Massage Therapy for lower back pain can loosen the spasm, relax the muscles and allow the back to function normally.
- When the cartilage in the back breaks down, it creates inflammation and degeneration. A massage therapist who is qualified to treat this type of condition can provide specific massage techniques to improve the circulation in this area, relieving the muscular stress and tension caused by “bone on bone” friction in the spine.
- Chronic Fibromyalgia causes pain throughout the body and is accompanied by 18 “trigger points” that create extreme discomfort when touched. Massage can help increase serotonin, lessen stress hormones, decrease the levels of pain messengers in the body and decrease the pain of the “tender points”.
Types of Massage Therapy
There are different types of massage treatments, including Shiatsu, Swedish, Neuromuscular, and Deep Tissue Massage.
- Shiatsu Massage: Uses the fingers, thumbs, and palm to apply pressure to areas of the body, helping relieve ailments and conditions, and adjust imbalances.
- Swedish Massage: Consists of long, kneading hand movements, as well as light, rhythmic, taps that are focused on the muscles closest to the surface of the skin.
- Neuromuscular Massage: Involves quasi-static pressure that is concentrated on soft tissue and stimulates skeletal striated muscle
- Deep Tissue Massage: Similar to Swedish massage, but applies deeper pressure that helps to release chronic muscle tension.
It is always advisable to check with a doctor if you are considering massage therapy for back or neck pain. Having conditions such as a herniated disc or recent surgery may not make you the best massage candidate until those ailments are healed.
If you have severe back or neck pain and are considering Massage Therapy as a treatment option, you should first be evaluated by a medical expert to determine the underlying cause of the pain. Spine Vue specializes in all types of back pain and procedures. Call us to schedule a full examination today.