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How can massage help back pain?

How can massage help back pain?


If you suffer from back pain, you are not alone. The 2014-15 National Health Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that 3.7 million Australians suffer from various back problems.

Back pain can range from minor muscle spasms from exercise to debilitating and chronic discomfort. Professional massage provides an easily accessible and safe method for treating, if not resolving, many of these cases. So, how can massage treat back pain and what kinds of massage work best?

4 ways massage can treat back pain

Massage is a low-risk, non-invasive therapy, which provides numerous psychological and physical benefits. For many people who suffer from back pain, both serious or temporary chronic issues, massage is an accepted treatment method that can reduce symptoms as well as underlying issues. There are four major ways that massage therapy can help treat back pain.

Assess underlying causes

The majority of massage practitioners are well-trained physical therapists, who are able to help assess the potential root causes of back pain. If appropriately trained, they can also recommend changes to your daily routine or exercises that can help relieve symptoms over the long term. Also, experienced massage therapists can recommend when you should visit a doctor to treat serious underlying causes.

Increase blood flow

By manipulating and working the back muscles, massage promotes increased blood flow to the back's affected areas. In turn, this helps promote healing, especially with soft tissue injuries or soreness caused by physical activities. Recent research suggests massage therapy can also help improve long term vascular functioning of both non-active patients and athletes.

Increase endorphins

Endorphins are chemicals that promote wellbeing and happiness inside the brain. They also reduce anxiety and pain. Massage techniques like myotherapy and acupressure are well known for generating increased endorphin levels. This helps promote healing inside the body.

Decrease tension

Pain and restricted movement can be caused by excessive muscle tension, especially around the lower back or neck. Massage promotes the relaxation of important muscle groups, which increases flexibility and eliminates pain.

Which kinds of massage best treat back pain?

There are numerous forms of massage therapy available in Australia. They each help to promote well-being. However, some are more effective in treating medical back issues.

Trigger Point Myotherapy

This type of massage, which is also referred to as neuromuscular therapy, is widely recognised as the most effective for soft tissue injury and lower back pain. Trigger point myotherapy uses alternating amounts of concentrated pressure on specific muscle spasm areas. Pressure is applied using the elbows, fingers, or knuckles and is sustained for 10-30 seconds.

This type of massage therapy works in relaxing spasming muscles, which allows the release of stored lactic acid, as well as the return of oxygen and blood flow to the area. Trigger Point Myotherapy can initially result in some temporary soreness, but can significantly increase mobility and reduce back pain within 24 hours or so.

Swedish Massage

This is one of the most popular types of physical therapy. The goal of this specific form helps to relieve pain and promote general relaxation. Swedish massage applies gentle force to the area of the back affected by muscle tension. This technique focuses on total physical and mental relief. It combines muscle manipulation and gentle hand pressure, and essential oils are applied to promote a complete, full-body recovery for the patient.

Deep Tissue Massage

Sports massage and deep tissue massage employs many of the same methods as Swedish Massage. However, the pressure that is applied, as implied by the name, goes a lot deeper into the muscle, sometimes all the way to the bone.

This technique helps release scar tissue and tightly knotted muscles that may be at the root of chronic back pain. Although the actual massage might be uncomfortable and you may feel sore for a couple of days afterwards, it can be highly effective in providing relief to stiff, painful back and neck muscles.

Find the best type of massage for you

For those who suffer from back complaints, massage therapy can be a very important part of rehabilitation and treatment. Therefore, it is essential that they receive the highest quality therapy and that it adheres to industry standards.

With so many massage services available, it can be hard to differentiate between highly trained practitioners and those that are more casual. Researching the precise techniques that are used and qualifications that are offered can help you make an informed decision.

If you need advice on the best type of massage for you, then contact the massage therapists at Knead Massage in Brisbane.

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