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Is Massage Therapy Helpful for Back Pain?

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Alicia Divico

Licensed Mental Health Counselor specializing in addiction therapy

What Causes Back Pain And How Massage Therapy Can Help
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Massage therapies like deep tissue massage helps in reducing lower back pain/aches. Various studies have proved that deep-tissue massage is effective in reducing lower back pain.

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 great option for reducing back pain, or to facilitate faster recovery time.

What Causes Back Pain And How Massage Therapy Can Help?

Around four out of five people have lower back pain at some point in their lives. It’s one of the most common reasons people visit healthcare providers and massage therapies.

Back pain can be caused by many different factors but strains and sprains are the most common ones. For example lifting something too heavy, lifting unsafely or even a strong sneeze or cough can strain your back.

What Causes Back Pain And How Massage Therapy Can Help

Something as simple as bending over to pick up a newspaper can cause the back to spasm, which often immobilizes someone 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.

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.

Massage therapy is also shown to lower cortisol levels, a stress hormone that increases inflammation in the body, which can make existing back pain worse. This is excellent news for people suffering from chronic low-back pain because massage therapy is a drug-free option that can be used with other treatments.

Two Muscles Massage Therapy Is Focused On

For lower back pain, the massage therapy is focused on the Quadratus Lumborum and gluteus medius muscles.

These two related groups of muscle are responsible for proper function in our bodies; unless an injury has occurred specifically to one individual group, it is more likely than not that at least some fatigue or stress will affect them all together as well!

Massage therapy is the most effective treatment for eliminating back pain, and it promotes blood flow and reduces inflammation in muscles, joints, and nerves.

In case you’re dealing with chronic or acute back pain, schedule an appointment today at South Tampa Wellness Spa for your massage treatment options that will help relieve your symptoms and get you feeling better!

At South Tampa Wellness Spa, our experienced therapists offer a variety of treatments that can help treat deep muscle pain, nerve pain, and chronic conditions. From hot stone massage to cupping therapy and more, we’ve got what you need based on your specific situation. Contact us today to book your appointment.

Common Types of Massages for Treating Lower Back Pain

Depending on the treatment goals, you may need to consider different types of massage therapies, that’s why I’ve prepared a list below with the types of massage therapies that really help with back pain.

Each massage type works on a different principle to manipulate the tissue and produce the desired effects.

While some techniques use light pressure and strokes, others use heat or knead deeper to stimulate the inner layers of tissue.

Our massage therapists are trained in different types of techniques and may sometimes use a combination of the following techniques to deliver massage treatment.

With that said, let’s get into the list.

Neuromuscular massage or trigger point therapy

Neuromuscular massage therapy is a form of soft tissue massage that aims to alleviate chronic muscle and nervous system disorders and problems.

It is mainly used to fix trigger points, circulation, nerve compression, postural problems and repetitive movement injuries. The aim of a neuromuscular massage is to go straight to the source of your pain and alleviate it.

Many people confuse neuromuscular massage with deep tissue massage. They both alleviate back pain, however, neuromuscular massage focuses on hitting the nerve while deep tissue massage focuses on stiff muscles, tendons and tissues deep within your skin as the name depicts.

Swedish massage

Swedish massage promotes relaxation in the soft tissues through repeated long strokes, kneading, and elongating techniques that encourage blood circulation, loosen the tissues, and remove stiffness.

In a Swedish massage, the therapist pays attention to the muscles in the lower back, thigh, and calf to help relieve back pain.

For lower back pain, you might be required to face-down, and the therapist pays attention to the back muscles, hamstrings, and calf muscles.

That’s because the health of the hamstrings and calf muscles play important roles in promoting back strength and lengthening these muscle groups can help improve lower back pain.

Swedish massage may help reduce scar tissue formation, modify muscle tone, and increase muscle length and flexibility.

This massage is also known to reduce inflammation, emotional stress, and enhance overall wellness.

Hot stone massage

A hot stone massage is a type of relaxation and healing therapy that involves placing heated basalt stones at specific locations on the body or moving them on the skin. The stones are heated by placing them in hot water.

For back pain, the patient lies face down, and heated stones are placed in two rows on either side of the spine, followed by a large hot stone on the sacrum (above the buttock). The number of stones used is based on the therapist’s discretion. The back of each thigh, leg, and foot is then massaged with a heated stone lubricated with massage oil.

The heat from the stones promotes muscle and soft tissue relaxation and reduces muscle cramps and spasms. It may help loosen tight connective tissues and treat back pain from muscle strains and ligament sprains.

Yoga Massage

Also known as Thai yoga massage or Thai massage, this massage technique combines the benefits of gentle yoga stretching with massage strokes.

The massage is delivered along specific energy or “sen” lines of the body.

For treating back pain, yoga massage aims to lengthen the back muscles, open the hips, and loosen the hamstrings. You might be required to perform passive yoga stretches to lengthen the lower back, while the therapist massages specific areas in the lower back and/or thigh(s) to relieve stress and relax the tissues.

Yoga massage is one of the best ways to ease back muscle stiffness and pain due to a sedentary lifestyle.

Shiatsu

Shiatsu massage is a Japanese bodywork therapy that aims to promote healing by applying deep, firm pressure along specific energy lines or meridians in the body using the fingers, thumbs, elbows, and/or knees.

To perform this massage you will be required to lie face-down while the “bladder meridian” is massaged.

Shiatsu provides deep tissue relaxation by improving circulation and releasing toxins.

This technique may help treat chronic back pain, back pain due to osteoarthritis, and back pain and leg pain from sciatica. The technique also provides a general feeling of wellness by improving energy (qi) balance and reducing fatigue.

Note From South Tampa Wellness Spa

By following the guide above, you will have a better understanding of this form of massage therapy. Do not let chronic back pain take over your life.

Schedule an appointment today at South Tampa Wellness Spa for your massage treatment options that will help relieve your symptoms and get you feeling better!

As you can see, at South Tampa Wellness Spa, our experienced therapists offer a variety of treatments that can help treat deep muscle pain, nerve pain, and chronic conditions. From hot stone massage to cupping therapy and more, we’ve got what you need based on your specific situation. Contact us today to book your appointment.

 FAQ – Is Massage Therapy Helpful for Back Pain

How Can Massage Therapy Help With Back Pain?

Massage therapy helps alleviate back pain by relaxing muscle spasms, improving circulation, and reducing tension. Techniques like deep tissue massage and neuromuscular therapy specifically target the source of pain, whether it's stiff muscles or nerve compression, providing relief from chronic and acute back pain.

What Are Some Effective Massage Therapies for Lower Back Pain?

A: Effective massage therapies for lower back pain include:

Neuromuscular Massage/Trigger Point Therapy: Focuses on alleviating pain by targeting nerve compression and muscle tension.
Swedish Massage: Uses long strokes and kneading to improve circulation and relax the muscles.
Hot Stone Massage: Involves heated stones to relax muscles and reduce cramps.
Yoga Massage: Combines gentle yoga stretches with massage to ease muscle stiffness.
Shiatsu: Applies deep, firm pressure along energy lines to relieve chronic back pain.

What Causes Back Pain and How Does Massage Address These Causes?

Back pain can be caused by strains, sprains, muscle tension, or nerve issues. Massage therapy addresses these causes by loosening muscle spasms, improving blood flow to healing tissues, and reducing inflammation. This treatment also lowers cortisol levels, which can exacerbate back pain.

Are There Any Considerations Before Undergoing Massage Therapy for Back Pain?

Before undergoing massage therapy, it's important to ensure it's suitable for your specific health condition, especially if you have a history of heart disease, osteoarthritis, or are pregnant. Professional therapists at facilities like South Tampa Wellness Spa can provide tailored treatments based on individual needs and conditions.

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