Statistics show that almost 8 out of 10 people will experience low back pain at some point during their life, and many of them will be seeking medical treatment for back pain. In some instances, back pain can be fleeting and can be resolved with rest, heat and an occasional anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen.
However, once the damage is done, the recurrence of back pain becomes more common. One reason for this is when we age, our muscles and tendons become less flexible and pliable. It is also very well known that in the United States, people are too sedentary with their lifestyles and being this way leads to excess weight gain that can create added pressure on the body, especially the lower back.
Massage can be a very important tool for relieving back pain and can be used proactively to prevent backaches. Let’s look at some ways that massage can help with back pain.
Hot stone massage is a form of massage that allows the massage therapist to utilize smooth, flat, heated stones. The stones are used to warm up tight muscles and relax them. This gives the massage therapist the ability to work on other parts of the body. They are placed on specific pressure points. As the areas are warmed and relaxed, it then allows the therapist to apply deeper pressure without discomfort.
Tuina (pronounced “twee na”) is a form of Chinese massage often used in conjunction with acupuncture and other Traditional Chinese Medicine modalities to help the body heal itself and maintain balance. There are many different techniques utilized in tuina, including gliding, shaking, pulling, tapping, kneading, rolling and pressing. Tuina combines massage and acupressure to remove blockages in the body, thus leading to improved health and well-being.
Acupressure points can be helpful for relieving back pain. Here are just a couple of the most common:
- Gallbladder 34 – This point is found bilaterally on the outer side of the lower leg. It can be found in the depression that is in front of and below the head of the fibula. This point is known as the influential point of the tendons.
- Urinary Bladder 40 – This point is located bilaterally on the crease behind the knee, right in the center, directly behind the knee cap. This point helps relieve pain along the spine. It is helpful for relieving muscle spasms and reducing pain associated with sciatic nerve involvement, which stems from the low back.
Self-massage is another great way to relieve back pain. Many people hold their stress in their upper or lower back, which leads to tight muscles, muscle spasms and even headaches. By gently massaging the muscles along the spine, back pain can be greatly reduced. Adding heat before and after massage will help to keep the muscles loose with less chance of spasming.
Regardless of how you choose to deal with your back pain, consider incorporating massage or tuina, into your healing regime. Regular treatments can keep muscles from tensing up, increase circulation, improve posture and strengthen the back to reduce future problems.
Ask us how we can help your lower back pain so you can take back control of your life. Let’s schedule an appointment today!