Top 5 Back Massage Techniques For Back Pain Relief
Approximately 8% of all American adults experience chronic back pain, a condition that limits their ability to perform everyday tasks. Back pain is also one of the leading causes of disability and a common reason why most adults skip work.
Unfortunately, back pain is one of the most costly medical problems. According to recent statistics, Americans spend about $50 billion every year on back pain treatment. In many cases, these expensive treatments involve invasive procedures such as surgery and injections.
The good news is that there are more affordable non-invasive back pain treatment options that you can consider for your chronic back pain.
Case in point: back massage.
Back massage is a non-invasive and non-pharmacological treatment option that effectively relieves pain caused by acute and chronic back problems.
Moreover, with the invention of at-home massagers, you can now enjoy a massage in the comfort of your home. For instance, a pillow-like neck and back massager can help relieve tension and pain among people suffering from moderate back pain.
So, want to learn more on how to back massage for pain relief?
Read on, and learn about effective massage techniques that can help treat your painful or sore back.
Question: What Type Of Massage Is Best For Lower Back Pain
Heres what we know without a doubt:
- Chronic and acute lower back pain are an output of our brains. If you are not up to speed on pain science, here are six more things you can learn.
- Lucky for us, our brains are plastic. With the right inputs, your brain can rewire itself via neuroplasticity. To put what you just read into perspective, without brain plasticity, you would not be able to recover from an injury.
- So when it comes to the best type of massage for lower back pain, it makes sense to do what can change your brain. And yet, 99% of the licensed professionals who are qualified to perform hands-on techniques dont do what will allow your brain to change.
History has shown us that:
- The vast majority of licensed practitioners dont have the tools to know whether a muscle is tight or if its underperforming. And yet, they regularly assume a muscle is tight. For example, stretches are recommended if you have been told you have piriformis syndrome. This when in most cases, the piriformis is underperforming. As surprising as this may be, you could be stretching a piriformis that feels tight, but its underperforming. So, of course, for all the stretching and one-size-fits-all clamshells, you end up not performing better than before you experienced the pain.
- Chasing neck and back pain with anything and everything that doesnt appear to cause harm adds up to hundreds of billions of dollars annually. The details are here.
We also know that:
Work With Your Doctor
There is a general agreement that spine massage therapy can relieve muscle tension and help restore balance in the working of the muscles in the lower back. Spine massage therapy is normally used in combination with other treatments that include over-the-counter medications, exercise, posture improvement , and physical therapy. It is important to talk to your doctor about your low back pain and develop a plan of action for living a pain-free life.
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What Is The Difference Between This Approach And Other Types Of Massages
As the name suggests, a deep tissue massage will require the professional to apply a greater amount of force in comparison to other methods, such as a Swedish massage. Although this might feel slightly strange during the first session, massaging deep tissues is an excellent way to loosen up muscles that have become cramped or strained. Also, the sessions themselves may last longer than other massages . Only professionals should perform this type of deep tissue massage therapy. It is important that your massage therapist has a significant amount of training, as well as an in-depth knowledge of the human anatomy.
Causes Of Lower Back Pain
There are many causes of lower back pain, including:
- Muscular problems such as torn muscles or ligaments in the spine.
- Problems with discs between vertebrae like a herniated disc which can cause intense pain. Herniated disks most often occur when people experience an injury to their back and they stay immobile for too long.
- Age-related changes in spinal discs.
- An injury that causes nerve damage.
- Long periods of sitting or standing with poor posture can lead to chronic stiffness and muscle tightness in your upper body. This often leads to tension headaches as well as neck and shoulder pains.
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What Are The Causes Of Pain In The Neck And Back
Causes for Neck Pain
Medical experts and healthcare professionals list lifestyle habits like bad posture and sleeping habits as the chief cause of neck pain. They also cite repetitive motion which further causes tendinitis and bursitis as another chief cause.
Causes for Back Pain
Lower back pain can be very painful and can last for days. When muscles in the lower back area are torn or injured, the entire area gets inflamed. This leads to spasms, severe pain, and even difficulty in moving. Inflammation in the upper back muscles can arise due to lack of nutrition
While many experts recommend massage therapy to reduce neck, shoulder, and back pain, it is a complementary therapy. For massage therapy to be completely effective, it has to be combined with other active measures like correcting your posture, exercising and practicing yoga.
Best Massage Techniques For Back
There are a number of different massage techniques that can be used to target the back. Some common techniques include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and trigger point massage. Each of these techniques can be used to provide relief from back pain and tension.
Swedish massage is a gentle form of massage that uses long, flowing strokes to promote relaxation and ease muscle tension. Deep tissue massage is a more intense form of massage that is used to target deep layers of muscle and connective tissue.
Trigger point massage is a technique that uses pressure and release to target specific areas of muscle tension.
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Miko Handheld Back Massager
A customizable massage tool youll love
If you really want to show back pain whos in charge, take a look at the Miko Handheld Back Massager.
Typically with handheld massage tools, like the Mighty Bliss device below, you get one arm or stick. You use this to maneuver the nodes to where you need them.
With Mikos Handheld Back Massager you get lengthy double arms to give you more control.
You can customize your massage further by switching between the changeable node tips Firm, Soft and Heated.
The heated tips were the ones most loved by owners of the product. They appreciated how the heat made the massage even more relaxing and helped to unwind their muscles.
Practically speaking, it folds away neatly and comes with a handy tote for storage!
You likely wont get the intensity that other tools, such as the Resteck device, offer.
But you can experience a satisfying massage for less dollars than many of the competitors.
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For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Tennis Elbow
Just beyond your elbow, all the muscles on the back of your forearm converge into a single thick tendon, the common extensor tendon. At the point where the muscles converge, in the muscles that extend the wrist and fingers, lies one of the more inevitable trigger points in the body: Perfect Spot No. 5. It is constantly provoked both by computer usage today, and more often by the use of a pen in simpler times and by the occasional tennis match, then and now, or maybe crocheting.
|for pain: in the elbow, arm, wrist, and hand||muscle: extensor muscles of the forearm, mobile wad , extensor digitorum, extensor carpi ulnaris|
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Best Massage Techniques For Bronchitis Emphysema And Asthma
The techniques used in therapy for bronchitis, emphysema and asthma include gliding strokes, percussion, kneading, friction and vibration. Precise massage of the back, shoulders, chest and neck may improve breathing. Remedial massages are well-known for opening the airways and restoring a good posture.
Massage Research Going Forward
Ultimately, more research is needed to confirm the effect of different massage types on back pain over the long term. This can help bridge the gap between research and clinical practice by massage therapists. There are many different massage techniques, such as Swedish Massage, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Deep Tissue, and Reflexology among others. Some massage styles may have more of an impact on back pain than others. However, there is no denying the findings so far are encouraging.
Massage is a less intrusive treatment option that carries little risk for the patient. At the very least it is something physicians and physical therapists should consider strongly before recommending surgery, which should only be used after other therapies have failed. Also, there are many potential benefits to massage beyond back pain reduction. As more research is conducted, well have a better understanding of how massage fits into a more holistic approach to healthcare, and how it can be applied to help different patients.
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What Are Self Massage Techniques
Self massage techniques are techniques that you can do yourself to get rid of muscle tightness and trigger points throughout your body.
Many self massage techniques can be performed with your fingers, hands, and elbows, while others require simple items such as tennis balls, foam rollers, or trigger point tools such as the Theracane.
Can A Deep Tissue Massage Make The Situation Worse
Although it can help in the short-term, its long-term effectiveness is less clear. In fact, a new study shows that chronic pain can get worse after massage treatments, especially if the patient is depressed, writes lead researcher Dan Hasson of Uppsala University in Sweden.
Can a Deep Tissue Massage Make You Feel Worse? Certain types of massages, such as B. Deep tissue, are more likely to cause post-massage pain. If you are very sensitive, have a lot of pain or tension, or just want to avoid feeling sore afterwards, opt for a massage that uses light, gentle pressure.
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Massage Therapy Training Program
Massage therapists are trained and respected health care providers who work closely with patients and other health care professionals. While attending the Carrington College massage therapy training program, students study a wide range of massage therapy techniques as they prepare for a career in the healthcare field. If youre interested in learning more about how you can help others feel better through massage therapy, please contact us today. Carrington College offers massage therapy programs, as well as other healthcare degree programs, at campuses throughout the country.
Hot Stone Or Himalayan Salt Stone Massage
Both hot stone massage and Himalayan salt stone massage involve smooth, sterilized rocks that have been heated in distilled water. Your licensed massage therapist may place them along your back, and also use the stones as an extension of their hands.
Similar to heating pads, hot stones are great for back pain for the following reason:
- They cause blood vessels to dilate, increasing the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the area
- They stimulate sensory receptors, which decrease pain transmissions to the brain
- They cause muscles and soft tissues to become more pliable and less stiff, which alleviates pain
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Popular Back Massage Techniques
Swedish massage is the most common style. It is both energizing and relaxing and involves short rhythmic tapotement as well as long kneading strokes. Swedish back massage techniques include:
- Friction: circular, deep movements to break down scar tissue and improve blood flow
- Effleurage: long, gliding strokes to relax the soft tissue
- Petrissage: kneading, squeezing and rolling
- Tapotement: rhythmic percussion done with cupped hands to help release lymphatic build up in the back
Swedish massage techniques release tension, and gradually break up adhered tissue and muscle knots. It also decreases muscle toxins and increases the level of oxygen in the blood.
Research On Massage Therapy
A July 2001 survey conducted by the American Massage Therapy Association found that the number of adults receiving massages from a massage therapist more than doubled since 1997.
Most healthcare providers are recognizing massage therapy as a legitimate aid for lower back pain and an effective adjunct to lower back treatments. Fifty-four percent of healthcare providers say they will encourage their patients to pursue massage therapy in addition to medical treatment.
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A study on massage and back pain conducted at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami in 2001 found that: Massage lessened lower back pain, depression and anxiety, and improved sleep. The massage therapy group also showed improved range of motion and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher.
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For Low Back And Gluteal Pain Sciatica
At the top of the buttocks lies a Perfect Spot for massage: a sneaky but trouble-making brute of a trigger point that commonly forms in the roots of the gluteus maximus muscle. Its below the lowest part of the low back, but it often feels like low back pain. This is the kind of spot that the Perfect Spots series is all about: not only does it tend to produce a profound, sweet ache when massaged, but the extent of the pain that spreads out around it is almost always a surprise. It feels like a key to much more than expected.
|for pain: in the lower back, buttocks, hip, hamstrings||muscle: gluteus maximus|
Best Self Massage Techniques
1. For Head Self MassageNothing can ruin a perfect day like a throbbing headache. Try this simple self massage technique to relieve your head pan.
What youll need Your Hands
How to do it:
- Place your thumbs high on your cheekbones, by your ears.
- Gently apply pressure in a circular motion with your fingertips to your temples.
- Continue making circles as your move along your hairline, until your fingertips meet in the middle of your forehead.
2. For Neck Self MassageSitting at a computer all day can make your neck stiff and sore, doing this simple self massage technique will help to relieve tension and ease your pain.What youll need Your Hands
How to do it:
- Place two or three fingertips on the back of your neck where your neck meets your shoulders.
- Apply firm pressure and hold the area.
- Release when the muscle feels more relaxed.
- Roll your shoulders forwards and back slowly.
- Repeat three times.
3. For Shoulder Self MassagePoor posture and hunching at a desk all day can lead to rounded shoulders and shoulder pain. Doing this simple self massage technique can help to alleviate your pain.What youll need Your Hands
How to do it:
- position the fingers of your right hand over your right shoulder .
- squeeze your upper trapezius three times and then roll your fingers over the muscle starting from the outside and moving towards the base of your neck.
- repeat on your left side.
The Complete Posture Fix
How to do it:
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Common Causes Of Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back painis usually age-related, but can also result from a prior injury. The mostcommon causes include:
- Arthritis of the spinethe gradual thinning of the cartilage inside the spine
- Spinal stenosisnarrowing of the spinal canal that may lead to nerve pain
- Disc problems, such as a herniated or bulging disc
- Myofascial pain syndromeunexplained muscle pain and tenderness
In some cases, its difficult to pinpoint the cause of chronic back pain.If your doctor has exhausted all diagnostic options, its time to seek asecond opinion from a back pain specialist, recommends Nava. Itsimportant not to make rushed decisions or undergo extensive medicalprocedures until the origin of the pain is found. Not only may they nothelp they could make the pain worse, warns Nava.
If the source of the pain is not known or cant be treated, your bestoption may be to work with your doctor on reducing the flare-ups and makingthe pain manageable with nonsurgical treatments.
Back Pain Causes and Treatments Webinar | Stephanie Van, M.D.
Chronic back pain is a persistent source of discomfort for many adults. In this webinar, our expert Stephanie Van, M.D., discusses common causes of back pain along with strategies for relief.
When Is Massage Therapy Recommended For Back Pain
Massage therapy may be a good option for treating and managing back pain in the following situations:
- As an alternative to potentially addictive pain medications, especially in mild to moderate cases
- As a pain management supplement before and/or after a surgical procedure
- As a complementary therapy to other forms of treatment
- To enhance psychological and physical well-being during recovery from a procedure
- As a basic stress reliever for ongoing chronic pain management
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Can Massage Make Back Pain Worse
While many people experience pain relief from massage and research studies support the benefits of this therapy, other people dont. They either dont feel any improvement or the pain may actually get worse. Why is that?
For best results, get a massage for an experienced, registered massage therapist rather than your partner. Registered therapists have in-depth training and knowledge on the best ways to manage back pain in a safe way.
Always tell the therapist if you are feeling uncomfortable or the pain is getting worse during the massage session.
Some people are more sensitive to pain than others. Some may have higher levels of inflammation in the body than others. In both cases, a deep tissue massage may hurt and aggravate the pain, but they could benefit from light pressure massage.