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.
Quadratus Lumborum Muscle Massage
The quadratus lumborum muscle extends throughout your lower back and consists of several layers. This muscle is an extensor of the spine, allowing you to bend backward. The muscle also helps you bend your torso sideways.1
The quadratus lumborum muscle can become fatigued, stiff, strained, and/or painful when you perform certain daily activities, such as:
- Lifting that requires leaning over something, for example, getting groceries out of the trunk of your car
- Leaning over a sink while doing dishes
- Sitting slumped in a chair
- Running on uneven pavement
A sharp, stabbing, urgent pain in your low back may indicate a hypertonic quadratus lumborum. Sometimes, you may feel a dull, constant ache with some degree of stiffness.
The quadratus lumborum muscle may also develop painful trigger point nodules, cause entrapment of nerves within its fibers, or be subject to direct trauma, causing lower back pain.1
The muscle must be stretched and massaged simultaneously by your therapist in order to reduce lower back pain.
See Non-Surgical Treatments for Lower Back Pain
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Minimizing Lower Back Pain
When Should You Not Massage Someone
The conditions that fit within this group are as follows: Fever. You should avoid getting a massage if you have a fever, whether its from a cold, the flu, or another condition. Infectious Diseases Clots of blood. Pregnancy. Conditions of the Kidneys or the Liver Cancer. Inflammation. Hypertension without control.
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How Does A Lower Back Massage Help Tight Muscles
A lower back massage can help relieve tight muscles. Muscle tightness is most commonly caused by poor posture, overuse and injury. If not treated, muscle tightness can be restrictive and painful.
A lower back massage aims to reduce muscle tightness by improving tissue elasticity.
During a lower back massage, the skin and fingers create friction. When friction is created, an increase in blood circulation is encouraged. Increasing blood circulation, increases muscle temperature. When muscle temperature is increased, tissue elasticity and flexibility is improved. An improvement of tissue elasticity and flexibility decreases muscle tightness, reducing restriction and pain.
Massage Techniques To Ease Back Pain
Back pain comprises about 40% of work absences. Since your back carries the most weight and physical stress, it can cause strain on the back muscles and ligaments supporting the spine. Back pain, tension, and stiffness can limit mobility and affect the quality of your life. Symptoms may last up to 6 weeks or less or as long as 3 months . In some cases, back pain can be described as insufferable, interfering with your daily social roles and activities as it can increase pain or cause further injury.
Although bed rest and application of heat or ice can help improve the symptoms, massage for back pain offers a better solution that helps relax your tired and sore muscles.
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Maturity Pays Off For Massage Therapy
Researchers followed 104 patients who had consulted their primary care providers about back pain lasting three months or more, defined as chronic. More than half reported significantly less pain after 10 one-hour massage therapy sessions rising to 70 percent among those 50 or older. Most still showed improvement six months later.
Why the age difference? Older participants were more likely to stick with the 12-week program, says co-author Niki Munk, a gerontologist and licensed massage therapist who teaches and conducts research at the Indiana University School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
While the results dont pinpoint other reasons, mature patients may be more self-aware, says Munk. Older patients have better perceptions of their pain and relief, she notes.
How Does Deep Tissue Massage For Lower Back Pain Work
When you go to a masseuse to cure pain in you lower back, deep tissue massage is performed in the following manner:
Now make sure youve gone to a qualified professional. Since you can clearly understand how deep tissue massage works, you can also see that lack of knowledge can break your tissues or blood clots. Instead of giving relief you could be injured, if the massage isnt done properly. Also, it will be better if youre aware on how to prepare for a deep tissue massage and what to do after a deep tissue massage.
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How To Choose The Best Massager For Lower Back
There are varieties of back massagers available in the market. However, every massager has a unique feature, and to choose the best back massage for healing your lower back pain, you need to have a look at these features before investing in a massager. Here are the things you need to consider before buying a massager:
Why Do I Have Lower Back Pain After Massage
Sometimes, inflammation causing lower back pain can occur after a deep tissue massage. This is not a normal, expected result of massage therapy. The reasons for this vary depending on the area of treatment and the reason you used massage treatment. Commonly, it is the result of aggravated injury from a poorly performed massage where too much pressure is applied. Its a good idea to speak with a doctor about your injury before getting a massage.
In some cases, there is a possibility that a deep tissue massage has caused a new injury. Most reported cases of this are in areas of the back and neck. It is likely a muscle injury, but also may indicate nerve damage.
Prolonged lower back pain is not a normal effect of massage. It is a sign that your massage therapist went too deeply and too quickly into your muscles and surrounding tissue.
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How Does A Lower Back Massage Help Post
Surgery can leave damaging effects on the body. Muscles become restrictive and unable to move properly resulting in muscle tightness and tension. Muscle tightness and tension can create pain and discomfort.
A lower back massage aims to help the effects of surgery by relieving muscle tightness and stimulating the lymphatic system.
A lower back massage increases the temperature of the muscles. Temperature is increased as blood circulation improves. Increasing the temperature of the muscles improves tissue elasticity. When tissues become inelastic, they can cause restriction in movement and an increase in pain. Improving tissue elasticity reduces restriction and relieves muscle tightness to help reduce pain.
When muscles are restricted in movement, lymphatic circulation tends to become less efficient. A less efficient lymphatic system means that an increase in metabolic wastes are able to build up in the muscles, contributing to muscular fatigue and pain. A lower back massage can stimulate the lymphatic system. Stimulating the lymphatic system increases the rate of metabolic wastes being removed through lymph flow and out of the body at the glands. A more efficient lymphatic system can increase healing, decrease recovery time and decrease pain.
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Massage Therapy Techniques To Relieve Lower Back Pain
While there are many different massage therapy techniques, the following are better suited towards relieving lower back pain, depending on your condition and preferred method of treatment:
Deep Tissue Massage: This is the most intense form of massage that uses slow strokes and heavy pressure to reach deep into your layers of muscles and connective tissue. This technique is for relieving muscle tension and addressing chronic pain. Take care when using, especially if youre sensitive to pain.
Swedish Massage: Gentler than deep tissue massage, Swedish massage is a combination of long, flowing movements, kneading, tapping and vibration. Its one of the most popular techniques and is used for both relaxation and minor pain relief.
Sports Massage: A sports massage is designed to treat athletes suffering from repetitive use injuries. This technique prioritizes increasing flexibility, though it also provides relief for pain and tension. It works through a combination of deep pressure, soothing strokes and stretching.
Shiatsu Massage: This is a Japanese style of trigger point massage, which works by applying pressure to specific stress points in the body in a rhythmic fashion. This technique aims to stimulate the body and induce healing through pulsing or rhythmic application of pressure to relieve tension and loosen tightness.
Waist Heating Belt Massager Motor Virbrating Heating Pad
Heres a heating and massaging pad designed especially for targeting the lower back cramps and pain. This heating pad works for lower back arthritis cramps and improves blood flow. If you are suffering from muscle soreness, sciatica or lower back pain, wear this heating pad, and it will stimulate circulation while offering needed comfort and relief from pain.
· Well equipped with 8.4v adapter and overheat protection tool
· Comes with auto mode changing feature
· Easy to clean pad without electric leakage
· Comes with 3 heating and 3 vibration settings for a comfortable massage
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· Offers hot and cold therapy through its 2 motor massage
· Relieves pain in the lumbar area, lower back, and abdominal area
· Features breathable neoprene and hook and loop for better compression
· Does not come with a battery pack
The vibrating heating pad features heat and vibration buttons that work simultaneously or individually. The pad can fit up to 42 belly size in circumference. Simply turn on or off the heat or massage buttons by long-pressing for 3 seconds. The massager is easy to use and also has 3 heat and vibrating settings for controlled massage. The heat mode is for the highest temperature, the white mode is for medium temperature, and blue mode is for the lowest temperature.
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How To Self Massage For Back Pain
If you dont have the time to see a massage therapist on a regular basis, its possible to DIY a self massage through the use of some equipment.
Using a mat and tennis balls
- Lie face up on a mat and place two tennis balls under your area of pain, one on each side of your spine.
- Bend your knees and place both feet flat on the floor.
- Slowly move yourself up and down with your legs so the tennis balls roll along your lower back and work the muscles.
- Press your body down with your legs to relieve or increase pressure.
Using a mat and a foam roller
- Place a foam roller on a mat and then lie down, with the roller perpendicular to your body and directly below the source of pain.
- Bend your knees and place both feet flat on the floor.
- Roll the foam above and below the source of pain to work the muscles.
- Use your legs to relieve or increase pressure into the roller.
How Does A Lower Back Massage Decrease Pain
A lower back massage aims to relieve pain by reducing muscle tension and disturbing pain messages sent to the brain.
Muscle tension is relieved as temperature of the muscles rise. Rising muscle temperature is due to an increase in blood flow caused by friction. Tissue elasticity is improved as muscle temperature rises. An improvement of tissue elasticity relieves muscle tightness and tension to help reduce pain.
Receptors located around the body first detect when something is wrong within the body and then send a signal to the brain. Pain is caused by nerves that receive a message from the brain telling them to create a feeling of pain. During a lower back massage, friction is created between the fingers and skin. When friction is created, receptors detect a new feeling. Once detected, the receptors send a new signal to the brain. The signal then gets passed on to the nerves which then create a numbing sensation. Creating a new sensation helps to relieve pain.
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Best Massage Chairs For Lower Back Pain
Of course, the most effective means of self massage is through a high-quality massage chair. Different models will possess features and functions to address your specific needs, including:
- Zero Gravity: A zero gravity position distributes your weight and reduces stress on your back.
- Heat: Heat settings loosen tight back muscles and help relaxation.
- This stretch lengthens your spine, relieving pressure from the nerves and muscles in your back.
- Adjustable Intensity: Allows you to adjust pressure levels from deep tissue massage to gentle pressure, depending on whatever your back needs.
- Selectable Techniques: Further customize your massage therapy through tapping, kneading, knocking and synchronized techniques.
Heres a short list of popular massage chair models for lower back massage therapy:
- Smart Chair X3 3D/4D features lumbar heat, waist twist therapy, true inversion, spinal correction and decompression stretch.
- Infinity IT-8500 X3 3D/4D features lumbar heat, spinal correction & waist twist, airbag compression therapy and decompression stretch.
- Kyota Kaizen M680 3D features include zero gravity, five massage techniques and heat.
- Infinity Circadian Syner-D features include spinal decompression and dual back massage.
- Kyota Yosei M868 4D features include zero gravity spinal correction, waist twist and dual heat zones.
- Infinity Imperial 3D/4D features include decompression stretch, lumbar heat and air bag compression therapy.
Finding The Right Massage
Finding the right massage therapy for you presents some challenges. One is that practitioners vary considerably in their level of training and experience. There’s also great variation in the kinds of massage available.
Swedish massage is the most common type of massage offered. “Most people who go to massage school will graduate with a level of proficiency in Swedish, which is primarily relaxation massage,” says Arthur Madore, a licensed massage therapist at the Osher Center.
Swedish massage involves long, gliding strokes and kneading of the major muscle groups, as well as friction, gentle rhythmic slapping, and vibration. Among the many other techniques in the marketplace are deep-tissue, pressure-point, Thai, and neuromuscular massage.
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