Finding The Right Massage
Finding the right massage therapy for you presents some challenges. One is that practitioners vary considerably in their level of training and experience. There’s also great variation in the kinds of massage available.
Swedish massage is the most common type of massage offered. “Most people who go to massage school will graduate with a level of proficiency in Swedish, which is primarily relaxation massage,” says Arthur Madore, a licensed massage therapist at the Osher Center.
Swedish massage involves long, gliding strokes and kneading of the major muscle groups, as well as friction, gentle rhythmic slapping, and vibration. Among the many other techniques in the marketplace are deep-tissue, pressure-point, Thai, and neuromuscular massage.
Omicron Effect: Why Are Patients Experiencing Back Pain
Back pain has been a common symptom of viral diseases, however, now we are seeing a surge in the case of severe back pain, especially in Omicron patients, even after recovery. Though back pain is common in viral fevers, as compared to the Delta virus, Omicron patients tend to have more back pain and less loss of smell and taste. Lately, its been witnessed that these patients are having back-breaking pain in the lower back and severe myalgia which is adding to the patients woes. It is a well-known fact that myalgias are commonly seen in viral infections. Covid is not an exception but we are seeing more cases of back pain with Omicron even after recovery which patients label as weakness. However, since data on Omicron is limited and gene sequencing is costly, the reason is difficult to explain. Maybe it is related to inflammatory mediators in the body which are released in excess in this variant, but to prove or disprove this hypothesis we need more studies and data for the same
Side Effects And Other Harms Of Massage Especially The Dangers Of Deep Tissue Massage
So what specifically could possibly go wrong with massage?
- directly cause new injuries, mostly bruises and nerve lesions
- aggravate existing injuries and chronic pain problems
- distract patients from more appropriate care
- mildly stress the nervous system
- probably cause rhabdomyolysis
- probably slightly impair athletic performance
- drain wallets 5
- distract patients from more appropriate health care
A little more on that last one: Ive seen many patients unwisely prioritize massage over medical care, and way too many massage therapists who went along with it and missed the medical significance of serious symptoms, overconfidently attributing them to something like toxins or cranky muscles. Massage therapists are prone to pseudoscientific beliefs,6 and appalling diagnostic ignorance is probably the most dangerous thing about massage therapy, as with all alternative medicine.7
In my decade as a Registered Massage Therapist,8 I met many patients who had been harmed by massage therapy one way or another fortunately, mostly just expensive disappointments and minor backfires, but quite a few more serious cases too.9
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Maturity Pays Off For Massage Therapy
Researchers followed 104 patients who had consulted their primary care providers about back pain lasting three months or more, defined as chronic. More than half reported significantly less pain after 10 one-hour massage therapy sessions rising to 70 percent among those 50 or older. Most still showed improvement six months later.
Why the age difference? Older participants were more likely to stick with the 12-week program, says co-author Niki Munk, a gerontologist and licensed massage therapist who teaches and conducts research at the Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
While the results dont pinpoint other reasons, mature patients may be more self-aware, says Munk. Older patients have better perceptions of their pain and relief, she notes.
Is Lower Right Or Left Back Pain Worrisome
Pain on one side of the back is not particularly more worrisome than central pain. There are three main kinds of one-sided back pain:
Most of the anatomy of the low back and abdomen is symmetrical. Some of the guts are not symmetrical, and only some of those is a plausible cause of back pain on one side. Heres some of the key anatomy to consider:
The side of the pain on its own doesnt tell us much, and most of the one-sided sources of pain are viscera that usually cause abdominal pain instead of back pain, or in addition to it. In other words, the only reason to worry about right or left lower back pain is if it is otherwise worrisome: if you have other red flags or significant non-back symptoms.
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Back Pain And Massage
The most typical problem areas are the upper back, neck and shoulders, followed by the lower back — aches that are generally brought on as a result of job-related stress and a sedentary lifestyle, explains Alyea. In the effort to be more active, her clients often become weekend sports fanatics “and injure themselves because they’re so tight from work,” she says.
Emotions can also take their toll on a person’s back. “I had one client who was talking about the possibility of going to war, and while I was massaging her, she came out with her great worry that her son might be drafted,” Alyea says. After confiding her fears, Alyea says, the client breathed more deeply and her shoulders finally relaxed.
What’s gratifying, she says, is seeing someone’s body loosen up. “Clients start having more color in the body,” Alyea says. “The tone of the tissue itself changes because massage increases circulation.”
Could massage help my aching back?
How could massage help relieve back pain?
What kinds of massage should I consider?
Most massage therapists practice different types of massage, including Swedish and shiatsu. In Swedish massage, the therapist kneads or rubs your body, often using broad sweeping strokes to relax muscles and promote circulation. In shiatsu, practitioners apply pressure to certain “trigger points” in the body to relieve pain.
What should I expect if I see a massage therapist?
Will one session be enough?
How Can I Avoid Pain From Massage
When getting a massage, always make sure your therapist is a highly trained professional. Only make an appointment with a licensed massage therapist. Before you begin, talk about what you hope to gain from massage therapy, the amount of pressure you want to feel, your previous experience with massage, and any pre-existing conditions.
If you have an injury, be sure and let your massage therapist know before you begin. Always give them the exact location and condition of your injury. The more they know about your body, the better equipped they are to give you the best results. You may want to do a little research and find a massage therapist who specializes in the area or type of your injury to give your treatment.
During your treatment, keep communication open with your therapist during your treatment. Tell them if you are in too much pain or uncomfortable and ease off.
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Should You See A Chiropractor For Low Back Pain
If youve ever seen a doctor for back pain, youre not alone. An estimated 85% of people experience back pain severe enough to see a doctor for at some point in their life. Yet despite how common it is, the precise cause of pain is often unclear. And a single, best treatment for most low back pain is unknown. For these reasons, doctors recommendations tend to vary. “Standard care” includes a balance of rest, stretching and exercise, heat, pain relievers, and time. Some doctors also suggest trying chiropractic care. The good news is that no matter what treatment is recommended, most people with a recent onset of back pain are better within a few weeks often within a few days.
What Happens During A Deep Tissue Massage
During this type of massage, the therapist will stretch your muscles and apply varying deep pressure techniques. Some common methods used are cross-fiber friction, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release. Healthy muscles should have a smooth structure, but those that are tight and stressed are rigid. By working out the knots in your muscles, the massage could result in microtears in the tissues, just like exercising.
A professional therapist will focus on making sure you are comfortable. Communicate with them if something is uncomfortable or if it hurts. They will be able to pinpoint the areas that need the most help, but let them know if you would like them to focus on less stressed muscle groups.
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Tennis Balls For Tight Fascia
For plantar fasciitis, a tennis ball rolled along all three arches of the feet can help release fascial tension. As your fascia opens up, you can use firmer balls for more pressure, or simply add more bodyweight.
This can also feel really good as a sciatic massage, a condition that can lead to back pain.
Sit on the floor and place a tennis ball right next to your hip. Slowly roll onto the tennis ball until the side of your hip and glute is on top of it. Support yourself with your hands as you move the tennis ball all around this area. If you come to a sore spot, pause and breath for a moment.
Your massage therapist can also help you figure out the best at-home massage for you.
What Is The Best Treatment For Lower Back Pain
Any of the treatment solutions presented above are excellent for lower back pain. Pain relievers and muscle relaxants can bring pain relief and reduce inflammation. Physical therapy, massage therapy and acupuncture work out to solve both the symptoms and the root of the problem. You can also try hot/cold compresses, chiropractics or active swimming, as these are all beneficial for the lower back pain.
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
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The Big Three Signs That You Should Investigate For An Ominous Cause Of Persistent Low Back Pain
You shouldnt worry about low back pain until three conditions have been met:
The presence of the big three does not confirm that something horrible is going on. It only means that you need to check carefully.
Andy Whitfield as Spartacus
At his physical peak, not long before getting sick. The first sign of his cancer was steadily worsening back pain. He may have already been in pain at this time.
The story of actor Andy Whitfield is a disturbing and educational example of a case that met these conditions for sure the first two, and probably the third as well if we knew the details. Whitfield was the star of the hit TV show Spartacus . The first sign of the cancer that killed him in 2011 was steadily worsening back pain. Its always hard to diagnose a cancer that starts this way, but Whitfield was in the middle of intense physical training to look the part of historys most famous gladiator. Back pain didnt seem unusual at first, and some other symptoms may have been obscured. Weight loss could have even seemed like a training victory at first! It was many long months before he was diagnosed not until the back pain was severe and constant. A scan finally revealed a large tumour pressing against his spine.
Is back pain a symptom of COVID-19?
Complete Guide To Low Back Pain
This article might ease your mind, but what about your back pain? If your pain is becoming chronic , or if you just keep having flare-ups, you may want to dive much deeper into the topic. There arent any easy answers for stubborn back pain, but there is evidence-based hope, and the PainScience.com back pain tutorial explores the topic extremely thoroughly. The main text is written for patients, but its also extensively referenced for keen readers and healthcare professionals. Read the introduction.
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How To Massage The Lower Back
This article was co-authored by . Marty Morales is a Professional Massage Therapist and the Founder and Owner of the Morales Method, a manual therapy and body conditioning business based in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Los Angeles, California. Marty has over 16 years of massage therapist experience and over 13 years of experience educating others on the best practices for massage therapy. Marty has over 10,000 hours of private practice logged and is a Certified Advanced Rolfer and Rolf Movement Practitioner, CMT. He has an MBA in Finance from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. This article has been viewed 155,989 times.
The lower back can become tight or sore for many different reasons. A few activities that cause tight lower back muscles include prolonged sitting at a desk, leaning over a sink, lifting heavy objects without bending your knees, or running on uneven pavement. Fortunately, you can help alleviate a friend or client’s lower back discomfort or even your own by loosening the sore muscles with massage.
Deep Massage Can Damage Nerves
Researchers at the Arizona May Clinic have found that excessive focal pressure to the neck and shoulder area can damage the spinal accessory nerve, which was not previously recognized as a cause of injury to the nerve.
The spinal accessory nerve is a small nerve traveling in the back side of the upper shoulder area.
To illustrate the dangers of deep massage to the neck and shoulder area a healthy 38-year-old woman found it difficult to lift her left arm and experienced shoulder pain after a massage. When the pain and limited arm movement persisted she visited her doctor who used electromyography to confirm injury to her spinal accessory nerve. A magnetic resonance imaging revealed evidence of swelling in the shoulders trapezius muscle, which is supplied by the spinal accessory nerve.
For the following 6 weeks the woman underwent physical therapy and gradually improved, however, 2 years later, the woman still experiences mild pain and weakness in her left shoulder.
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Study Recruitment And Follow
We mailed 9,127 invitations and evaluated 1161 responses 402 were eligible and randomized . Main ineligibility reasons were massage in previous year , less than 3 months of back pain , sciatica , medical contraindications , and planned visits for back pain . One participant with an abdominal aortic aneurysm was excluded post-randomization. Analyses included 401 participants randomized to Relaxation Massage , Structural Massage , or Usual Care . Follow-up was 95% at 10 weeks, 93% at 26 weeks, and 91% at 52 weeks. Interviewers reported treatment group had been revealed to them by fewer than 10% of participants.
Abbreviations: LBP, low back pain RDQ, Roland Disability Questionnaire SF-12, Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 12 Health Survey.
Types And Styles Of Massage
There are two basic types of massage: whole body and structural. The whole body massage promotes general relaxation. The spine massage techniques that target specific muscles and connective tissue are called structural massages. A structural massage that targets the muscles from the buttocks and up to the neck is effective for relieving lower back pain.
Some massage styles include the whole body with a special focus on a targeted area. However, all massage styles have the likelihood of helping to relieve pain. The best style to have the most impact depends on what is causing the pain and preferences of the patient or client. The various styles of massage include, but are not limited to:
- Swedish massage a whole body gentle massage for relaxation and to relieve muscle knots.
- Shiatsu massage a Japanese style whole body massage using pulsing pressure and includes a focus on areas of the body needing attention.
- Trigger point massage the whole body that includes an extra focus on specific areas of pain caused by tightness in muscle tissues.
- Deep tissue massage a whole-body massage that uses pressure to relieve tension in deeper layers of connective tissues and muscles.
There are other styles of massage, like Reflexology and Sports Massage, but the ones listed are some of the more common. For people who experience back pain, massage therapy can bring much-needed relief. There is no set amount of sessions recommended because each situation is different.
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Wagan In2514 Heated Massage Lumbar Cushion
For better lumbar support and relaxation, the cushion has a unique design that offers lower back support and improves posture. The cushion has a built-in motor that effectively targets the lower back muscles and massages the area gently. For frequent backaches, simply organize the cushion on your seat, switch on the heat settings and relax while it works on your lower back.
· Operates on DC power and comes with an adapter
· The built-in heating element provides required heat to heal soreness
· Features durable and washable cover
· Unique design that distributes heat easily and evenly
· Slim design that occupies minimal space and offers required lumbar support
· You can switch between heat and vibration modes
· Not a long-lasting product
The cushion offers heat settings so you can switch from gentle to intense heat according to the extremity of your pain. Plus, the massager is covered in a washable cover so you can easily remove the cover and use it after washing. If you work for hours on your computer, you can use this massager while sitting and even while driving.