When Is Massage Therapy Not Recommended
There are certainly situations in which massage therapy is not appropriate and may aggravate the condition. For example, if the source of the pain is severe osteoporosis, the pressure from massage might damage brittle bones. Additionally, if the pain comes from a broken bone or an injury, massage can aggravate these conditions. Your doctor and massage therapist will be able to advise you whether massage therapy is a good option for you.
Through our Spine Wellness Center, Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center is pleased to offer high quality massage therapy services for patients seeking relief from chronic back pain and other ailments. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call today at 404-256-2633.
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Is Back Pain Very Common
Back pain – especially low back pain – will affect many of us at some point in our lives. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence states that up to 60% of the adult population can expect to have low back pain at some time in their life, with prevalence peaking at around the age of 40-50. Even at low levels back pain can be miserable – and at its most severe it can be disabling.
As someone who has suffered low back pain myself, I understand how miserable it can be to be constantly in discomfort. However Ive also found strategies that helped me to deal with this issue, including massage and exercise.
Whats Causing My Back Pain
Back pain can have a wide variety of causes. If you are experiencing back pain which is severe enough to affect your day-to-day life, your GP may be a good first port of call to rule out any serious underlying causes, such as injury to the discs in your spinal column.
That said, back pain can be caused by a number of seemingly innocuous factors. Many of us spend a lot of time sitting – at desks, at home, in our cars – and this doesn’t do our backs any good. Few of the chairs we sit in are designed to support our posture, and lets be honest – how many of us have great posture when were sitting anyway? Sitting in a slumped or hunched position for long periods of time can cause back muscles to become tense, overly lengthened or overly shortened, leading to aches and pains.
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I Am A Passionate Teacher Of Advanced Pain
One of the first things I explain to a student taking my classes is how pain is only an indication of something not working correctlynot an automatic invitation to work on it.
The other thing I teach is that if you can effectively reduce pain, you can effectively reduce inflammation. It is rarely the other way around when you are using natural healing techniques on an inflamed body.
The reason for this is that many of the biological processes of inflammation are turned on by the pain signal and its sensation. If the pain signal goes down, those inflammation processes decrease as well.
I know this concept might seem backwardshow are you supposed to get rid of pain in the low back if you dont do some deep back work to release muscles, tendons, trigger points or fascial restrictions?
This is where I teach not what to do, but when to do the correct type of work for a client in the pain and inflammation cycle. If pain is a signal for inflammation to start, then you must limit how much pain you give someone in higher levels of inflammation, or you just feed the fire.
How Often Should You Massage The Upper Back
Your and your massage therapist will need to determine the frequency of massage for upper back pain. Each persons situation is unique regarding their health and goals. Likely, when you meet with your massage therapist they will suggest weekly sessions. The frequency will be adjusted based on your response. If pain returns after a few days then it might be time for another session. But if you are pain-free after a week then you should be able to space out sessions.
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Massage Research Going Forward
Ultimately, more research is needed to confirm the effect of different massage types on back pain over the long term. This can help bridge the gap between research and clinical practice by massage therapists. There are many different massage techniques, such as Swedish Massage, Shiatsu, Thai Massage, Deep Tissue, and Reflexology among others. Some massage styles may have more of an impact on back pain than others. However, there is no denying the findings so far are encouraging.
Massage is a less intrusive treatment option that carries little risk for the patient. At the very least it is something physicians and physical therapists should consider strongly before recommending surgery, which should only be used after other therapies have failed. Also, there are many potential benefits to massage beyond back pain reduction. As more research is conducted, well have a better understanding of how massage fits into a more holistic approach to healthcare, and how it can be applied to help different patients.
Natural Treatments For Low Back Pain
There are many non-invasive options for treating low back pain. The good news is these methods of reducing back pain are less expensive and risky than surgery or drugs as well. Exercise, massage, yoga and physical therapy are all proven options to try when faced with chronic low back pain. Even meditation can be effective. One recent study showed that mindfulness-based stress reduction and cognitive-behavioral therapy provided patients with greater improvements in mobility and reduced pain than standard medical care for low back pain.
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Difficulties In Massage Research
Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available for back pain. Conventional treatments include hot packs, stretching and strengthening exercises, physical therapy, acupuncture, traction, epidural steroid injections, medications, spinal manipulation, nerve block therapy, and surgery. One remedy that is becoming more widely accepted by the medical community is massage therapy.
Do Massages Help Patients With Back Pain
Recovering from a lower back pain flare-up could take several weeks to months. Although many people depend on conventional care, such as taking anti-inflammatory pain medications, getting physiotherapy treatment, and staying physically active, back pain massage therapy offers relief and relaxation.
Over the last few decades, massage has gained popularity as alternative care for people with back pain. When added to the mix of conventional back pain treatment, the magical and soothing touch of a professional massage therapist can promote substantial healing and pain relief to a painful back. By targeting the correct muscles, the pain, soreness, and tension can be controlled at their source. Healthcare professionals recognize back pain massage treatment as a safe and natural relief for lower back pain and effective aid to various pain treatments. Furthermore, healthcare providers even encourage back pain patients to seek massage therapy in addition to medical treatment.
Various pieces of evidence support the effectiveness of massage to the nonspecific chronic low back, showing its benefits in terms of improving symptoms and function.
Here are other several amazing health benefits of massage therapy:
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Types And Styles Of Massage
There are two basic types of massage: whole body and structural. The whole body massage promotes general relaxation. The spine massage techniques that target specific muscles and connective tissue are called structural massages. A structural massage that targets the muscles from the buttocks and up to the neck is effective for relieving lower back pain.
Some massage styles include the whole body with a special focus on a targeted area. However, all massage styles have the likelihood of helping to relieve pain. The best style to have the most impact depends on what is causing the pain and preferences of the patient or client. The various styles of massage include, but are not limited to:
- Swedish massage a whole body gentle massage for relaxation and to relieve muscle knots.
- Shiatsu massage a Japanese style whole body massage using pulsing pressure and includes a focus on areas of the body needing attention.
- Trigger point massage the whole body that includes an extra focus on specific areas of pain caused by tightness in muscle tissues.
- Deep tissue massage a whole-body massage that uses pressure to relieve tension in deeper layers of connective tissues and muscles.
There are other styles of massage, like Reflexology and Sports Massage, but the ones listed are some of the more common. For people who experience back pain, massage therapy can bring much-needed relief. There is no set amount of sessions recommended because each situation is different.
Massage Therapy Relieving Tension
A massage, on the other hand, is performed by a licensed massage therapist who applies direct pressure to soft tissue or muscle groups to relieve pain and promote healing and wellness. Unlike chiropractic treatment, massage treatment focuses solely on the stimulation of muscles and is not used to treat pain associated with the spine, joints or tendons.
There are multiple benefits to massage therapy including relaxation, increased energy and mood enhancement. Many find that receiving a massage following chiropractic treatment can promote additional healing and decrease discomfort and inflammation after treatment.
Both of these options can be used to treat temporary, situational or chronic pain. Not sure which treatment is right for you? Listen to your bodys pain points. In either scenario, talk with your doctor to determine if these options are right for you. If you cant afford a chiropractor or a massage specialist due to health insurance, check out our plans to see how Priority Health can help you ease your back pains!
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Chiropractic Care Aligning Your Spine
Chiropractic treatment is performed by a Doctor of Chiropractic who is trained and certified through a specialized university program. This treatment involves the manipulation and adjustment of the musculoskeletal system, which includes the spine, muscles, tendons and surrounding joints.
Chiropractic treatment focuses primarily on the alignment of the spine and specific joints. To relieve pain, chiropractors use their hands or a chiropractic adjustment tool to apply controlled pressure to an affected area. Common pain points chiropractic care can be used to treat include the lower back, neck and even headaches.
Since the spine is the main focus of chiropractic treatment, examinations generally require X-rays or other lab tests to pinpoint problem areas. Spinal health is extremely important because the spinal cord acts as an extension of the bodys central nervous system, which communicates messages throughout the entire body. Since spinal alignment requires such precise manipulation, its best to receive professional treatment for symptoms related to spinal or surrounding joint pain. Depending on your circumstance, a chiropractor may work with your family doctor or other recommended specialists throughout treatment to ensure healing progress.
Massage For Back Pain: How It Helps
While most people wouldnt have issue with the idea of a regular massage, if you are one of the many who suffers from lower back pain, the following are ways that regular massage for back pain can help you find serious relief:
1. Increased blood flow. Increased blood flow is a known proponent of muscle recovery and studies confirm that massage therapy helps improve general blood flow and reduces soreness.
Research also shows that massage therapy improves the vascular function in people who have and have not exercised, which suggests that the vascular benefits of massage may span beyond the recipients level of physical activity.
2. Decreased tension. While muscle tension is needed by the body to maintain body posture and general movements, too much tension causes pain and muscle restriction, especially in the lower back and neck. Massage therapy is clinically proven to decrease muscle tension.
3. Increased endorphins. Endorphins are the feel good chemicals in the brain. Massage tactics including acupressure and trigger point therapy generate these endorphins, which are known to reduce pain and produce a sense of euphoria.
Research shows a mere 15 minutes of massage can spark endorphins, creating up to 48 hours of their feel-good effects.
4. Heat application. Superficial heat during massage is also recommended for lower back pain. Warm stone massages, hot towels and heat packs are ideal add-ons for massage services related to lower back pain.
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How To Find A Massage Therapist For Back Pain
Getting the best massage for lower back pain starts with finding a qualified therapist. You can find a qualified massage therapist by:
- Asking your doctor for a referral
- Checking in with family and friends to see if they have a therapist they like
- Visiting a massage therapy accrediting organization
- Looking at online reviews
When youre ready to explore the best massage for lower back pain, a qualified pain specialist can help.
Find a pain specialist in Arizona or Texas by clicking the button below or look for one in your area by using the tips here: .
What Is Massage Therapy
Massage therapy refers to different techniques of manipulating the soft tissues of the body to treat health symptoms and conditions. Massage therapy can involve pressing, rubbing, and applying pressure to soft tissue all over the body using the fingers, hands, elbows, and tools.
Benefits of massage therapy include:
- Increase blood flow Adequate blood flow throughout the body prevents waste products from being stuck in certain parts of the body and promotes healing. Massage therapy increases blood flow to soft tissues in the body, so it can heal and reduce pain.
- Relieve muscle tension Massage therapy takes tension and tightness out of muscles. It helps reduce muscle spasms, inflammation, aches, and stiffness.
- Reduce stress, anxiety Massage therapy helps improve relaxation, increase energy level and improve physical and mental performance. This can reduce stress, anxiety, and even improve sleep quality.
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Join One Of The Best Massage Therapy Schools In Las Vegas Today
At Northwest Career College, we operate one of the best Massage Therapy Schools in Las Vegas and our Massage Therapy Course will teach you the skills youll need to apply the benefits of sports massage. The benefits of massage therapy are widely recognized with employment for massage therapists expected to increase by 22% between 2014-2024, with an average massage therapist earning $39,360 a year. Additionally, many massage therapists maintain active, private practices, increasing both their flexibility and earnings.
Our massage student clinic is open seven days a week, for both your and your clients convenience, and we offer day and night classes to accommodate your work and family schedules. Our instructors are experienced professionals who will prepare you to sit for either the NCBTMB or the MBLEX exams and we are proud of our 100% board pass rate. Call us at 403-1592 to speak to one of our enrollment specialists today!
Causes Of Lower Back Pain
The reason for your lower back pain may be temporary like spending extra time in the yard to prep for gardening season or you may have a chronic condition that leads to low back pain. Aside from injury, there are a number of risk factors that make it more likely you will experience low back pain. Risk factors include pregnancy, weight gain, being between 30 and 50 years old, having a job that requires heavy lifting or pushing, having pre-existing mental health issues like anxiety and depression, and sitting in a chair all day with poor posture and minimal back support.
Most back pain is acute and lasts a few days to a few weeks. If youre experiencing symptoms for longer than that, you may have whats called chronic low back pain. In either case, the inconvenience and discomfort from back pain can be debilitating.
So whats the solution for improving your low back pain?
One common solution for back pain is surgery. But even though Americans spend over $40 billion on back pain surgery every year, results are far from guaranteed. One study found that surgery for back pain was successful just 26% of the time. Sufferers of back pain are also sometimes prescribed powerful painkillers like opioids. While opioids can lessen pain, their use incurs other risks, like addiction.
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Studying Massage For Low Back Pain
Researchers recruited adults, mostly women, ages 20 to 65 who had visited the doctor at least once for their low back pain.
People were not included in the study if their back pain could be attributed to a specific cause like fractures, cancer or spinal stenosis, if they’d had surgery for their back problems in the last three years, or if they had an underlying medical condition like fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis that would complicate pain treatment.
Study participants were randomly assigned to receive either Swedish massages for relaxation or a more targeted kind of “structural” massage that focused on specific muscle and connective tissue problems that might affect the low back.
“The treatment will go into the gluteal muscles and up in to the neck, but it’s not a fully body massage and it tends to be focused with the goal of treating the effected tissues,” says Cherkin. “A full-body relaxation massage is more or less full-body and it doesn’t focus on the back. It’s intended to maximize relaxation.”
A third group was told they were participating in a trial of massage therapy, but they were assigned to usual care.
Massage therapists all had at least five years of experience, and some had additional, specialized training to provide the focused, structural massage technique.
Study participants received their massages for free. People in the usual care group were paid $50 for their participation.
All study participants were followed for one year.