Back pain is a common problem that most of us deal with on a daily basis. Whether it is from work, exercise, carrying your kids around or a past injury, it is estimated that 80% of adults will have an episode of back pain in their lifetime. Unfortunately, there are very few treatments that reliably relieve it. Those often used can include over the counter medications, injections, and, in extreme cases, surgeries. Luckily, an excellent alternative treatment can be found in massage therapy.
A study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2011
found that almost 40% of the involved patients reported that their moderate to severe back pain was nearly gone after 10 weeks of massage therapy. On average, the participants found that their daily mobility increased and pain decreased. The three groups were assigned either Swedish massage, trigger point massage, or their regular care routine to be used as a baseline. While this study found that both forms of massage gave similar results, there are many different therapies to choose from that can help based on your type of pain and location.
Common Causes of Back Pain
Some common causes of back pain are overused muscles due to strains, improper posture, exercise, or injuries. These can cause the fascia of the body to tighten up or become “sticky.” Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds everything in your body and holds it all in place. Tight or sticky fascia can limit mobility and cause muscles to tighten up. Without release, this can often lead to back pain.
Benefits of Massage Techniques for Back Pain
Massage therapy stimulates blood circulation in the body, helping to improve the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to muscles. This helps to reduce inflammation and stiffness associated with back pain and helps with the recovery of healing muscles and will in turn reduce back pain.
The relaxation and tranquility of the massage experience will also release serotonin and endorphins in your brain. This can decrease your perception of pain and give great mental health benefits as you focus on healing and taking a break from your busy day.
Find the Right Form of Massage to Treat Your Back Pain
Choosing the right massage therapy can help target problem areas in your back and can tackle the pain at its source. Different techniques are used to help manage and eliminate back pain within massage therapy and you can choose which ones best fit your lifestyle and type of back pain.
Swedish Massage for Back Pain
Relaxation massage uses a combination of smooth and long strokes to ease muscle tension and increase blood flow in soft tissues of the back. Light to medium pressure is used to help loosen your back muscles and quiet your mind.
Deep Tissue Massage for Back Pain
Medium to strong pressure is used in deep tissue massage to reach those layers of tissue that lay further down in the back muscles. This technique is used to break up knots and relieve tension to provide a longer-lasting relief. Deep tissue massage reaches the connective tissue that can often cause chronic pain from tight muscles and fascia.
Trigger Point Massage for Back Pain
Trigger point massage focuses on tense spots in the muscles and tissue that are called ‘trigger points. Also referred to as a muscle knot, these areas often cause pain to radiate from the spot or to trigger pain elsewhere in the body. This pain can disappear as quickly as it was triggered or linger. These trigger points are created in your back when your muscles tense up from over exertion and then do not relax on their own. Massage therapists will search out these areas and use touch and finger pressure to release them.
Hot Stone Massage for Back Pain
Hot stone massage uses heated stones placed on your back to target specific zones of muscles and soothe aches and pains. The heat and weight of the stones soften the muscles and relieve tension. This is accompanied by gentle to firm massage by your therapist using the stones to work deeper into the muscles. The massage and heat combination increases circulation and promotes healing of tension and injuries.
Sports Massage for Back Pain
Sports massage therapy combines massage, resistance, and stretching to reach sore muscles and tension from exercise and sports injuries. Therapists use special techniques to help achieve your athletic goals and needs. Sports massage can help increase flexibility and range of motion in your back where pain has been limiting you. Whether you are a serious athlete or physically active, sports massage is a great addition to any regime to help with stubborn back pain.
Myofascial Release for Back Pain
Myofascial release therapy alleviates stiffness and pain caused by the connective tissues surrounding the muscles. While fascia is the network of connective tissue covering the body, linking together all the muscles and organs, myofascial tissue is specifically the tissue that connects the muscles. Therapists use sustained, light pressure to search out tight spots along the muscles in your back. Once found, the therapist will release the pressure and will repeat the process until the tension is released. Myofascial release should cause an improvement in mobility and flexibility in your back, as well as alleviating pain.
Book Your Massage for Back Pain in St. Albert Today
Back pain is a common complaint that is difficult to reliably target and treat. Massage therapy has been shown to be a great treatment to alleviate and sometimes eliminate stubborn muscle tension and aches and pains in your back. If some of these therapies sound like they can be of help to you, do not hesitate to contact us to help you decide on the best treatment option for your specific needs.
The number of sessions that are required varies from person to person based on the type of back pain and the location of the tension. Your massage therapist will help you identify the best course of treatment to improve your health and wellbeing and reduce your back pain. Book an appointment today with the Urban Massage & Wellness team in St. Albert!