Chronic back pain can dampen your spirits because it makes even the simplest things impossible to do. If you have an achy back, forget about doing things like playing with your kids, swinging a golf club, tying your shoes or even going to the bathroom by yourself. If you have chronic back pain, do not live your life in agony, consider using massage therapy to treat it.
Common Causes of Back Pain
There are a lot of things that can cause an achy back. Some of the most common include:
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Ruptured discs
- Degenerative conditions (osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, etc.)
- Poor posture
Although there are plenty of ways to treat back pain, massage therapy rates high on the list as the most effective.
Types of Massage Therapy for Chronic Back Pain
Shiatsu is an age old Japanese massage method that is used to treat back pain. During a shiatsu massage, the therapist applies pressure from the elbows, fingers, feet, thumbs and fists along the body’s acupressure points to balance the flow of chi or energy.
A Swedish massage is usually the technique of choice for chronic back pain sufferers who are getting a massage for the first time. During a Swedish massage, the client lies unclothed on a specialized table while the therapist uses oils to slide the hand across the body. The massage professional use various techniques such as long even strokes, friction, tapping and kneading to relax the muscles.
A deep tissue massage is used to treat back pain as well as other conditions. Deep tissue massage therapists apply heavy pressure with the elbows, knuckles, hands and forearms to reach deep into the muscles and connective tissues. Deep tissue massage may be uncomfortable and cause soreness if you are sensitive to heavy pressure.
Benefits of Massage for Back Pain
Massage therapy improves circulation, loosens knotted muscles, improves pliability in the back and relaxes spasms in the back. Getting a massage also encourages the brain to release endorphins, which helps ease pain. If massage is done regularly, it is not only effective in treating chronic back pain, it can help prevent it from reoccurring.
If you have conditions such as cancer, blood clots, open sores or fractures, a massage may not be appropriate. Pregnant women should only be massaged by someone who is licensed in pregnancy massage.