Why do You Have Back Pain?
Although more than half of the adult population experiences back pain at some point or the other in their lives, the reason for getting the pain and the intensity of the back pain varies from person to person. Studies have shown it could be a biological factor like bone disease, back injuries, spinal structure changes or an infection in the spine, or lifestyle related reasons such as being overweight, lack of exercise, sitting in one position for a long time, etc. that can cause a backache.
If you are getting a recurring back pain it is a must to visit a physician to check for the cause and then start any treatment or therapy.
Does Massage Help With Back Pain?
Massages are considered to be amongst the most ancient forms of healing that find their mention in the 2700 BCE, originating in China and eventually spreading over Greece, India and the Middle East. Today, different massage techniques are practiced all over the world to help treat chronic, sub-acute or acute pains.
Massaging is known to increase the blood and oxygen flow in the body, which helps the brain in the release of a relaxation chemical called serotonin. This leads to an ease in pain, overall feeling of relaxation, and decrease in stress levels. No wonder it is one of the most common therapies recommended for treating lower back pain.
Which Massage is Good for Back Pain?
Choosing the correct massage treatment should be the first step in your healing process, as it is important to find the right fit of a therapist and technique to ensure your back pain is getting treated and you are on your way to recovery.
There are so many different types of massages and combinations of squeezing, kneading, pressing, and stretching techniques that have gained popularity, yet studies have shown that the following four types of massages have been found to be most potent in healing back pain:
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point massage, or neuromuscular massage is a therapy that is known to be highly effective in treating soft tissue injuries and pain in the lower back. This massage involves using varied intensity of focused pressure on the areas that have muscle spasm. The therapist normally uses their elbows, knuckles or fingers to apply pressure for 10-30 seconds at a concentrated region.
This massage helps in relaxing of muscles spasms that releases lactic acid and encourages the flow of oxygen to the affected area. Although many people experience a light soreness after the treatment, trigger point massage, helps in reducing back pain and offer ease in movement within a short time.
Deep Tissue Massage
As the name suggests, deep tissue massage is a technique in which the therapists use strong levels of pressure to dig deep into the muscles of the body. It is very effective in cases where the muscles are tightly knotted or the individuals have a scar tissue, and is therefore much popular amongst athletes and sports people.
Although it can be uncomfortable during the therapy, since the pressure of the massage targets to go as far as reaching the bone, to get the best effect from the treatment. The soreness experienced after a deep tissue massage may last up to a few days. However, it is known to be one of the most effective massage techniques to treat painful back and neck muscles.
Shiatsu massage is a Japanese massage form that focusses on channelling the energy flow in the body. The stress we experience in our daily lives or an accidental injury could cause blockages in the meridian lines of the body. Shiatsu massage therapists check the overall body functionality and identify areas with blockages and then using their fingers, knees, elbows or feet work towards pressing the areas to release the knots.
Shiatsu is very relaxing and helps de-stress the body, increase oxygen flow and release endorphins resulting in an overall improvement in wellness.
Swedish massage is one of the most popular massage therapies that is practiced all over the world. It uses application of oils and gentle force to coax the affected back muscles to release the tension they hold. This is a massage form that is comfortable during the therapy as the pressure being used is mild to medium and does not make the muscles sore.
Since this therapy concentrates on complete physical and mental relief, it is a good choice of massage if you do not have a chronic pain and wish to have a light session, to feel relaxed and ease any tension that is there in your back.
If your back pain persists or gets aggravated after massage treatments, it is advisable to consult your physician at the earliest.