All Things Considered: How Massage Helps with Back Pain
Back and lower back pain are typical for those of us sitting in chairs all day at our desks and is exactly the price we pay for walking on two feet. Spine specialists have become more concerned about the growing number of complaints: nearly 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain. And you’ve probably already guessed what has caused it.
Since the start of the pandemic and stay at home orders across the globe, human activities and lifestyles have changed a lot. People have been moving significantly less, postponing visits to a doctor, skipping their lower back massage sessions, crawling out of bed and walking the 20 feet to their desk, and taking advantage of Amazon and other instant delivery services instead of taking a short walk to the grocery store.
While Covid doesn’t directly cause back pain, our response to it has contributed to an increase in the cases reported by the general public.
Possible Reasons for Lower Back Pain
There are a number of reasons for lower back pain. What’s more, it’s not always rooted in the musculoskeletal system. Sometimes doctors observe a mirroring effect, when organ diseases manifest through lower spine inflammation.
It can be a consequence of trauma from an accident, diseases of the stomach, intestines, or kidneys or due to muscle spasms, a pinched nerve, and/or inflammation. In this case, seeing an orthopedic doctor or psychiatrist will help identify the root of the problem and proper plan for recovery.
None of the diseases of these organs and skeletal systems mentioned above can compare with the consequences of sedentary work. It’s the top reason for spine and neck pain, numbness in the arms and legs, and circulatory problems.
What’s more, according to medical research from the NIH, a sedentary lifestyle can lead not only to physical problems, but also mental distress. Thus, taking more conscious care of your back health should be a top wellness priority as it seriously affects your mental condition.
How Massage Can Help with Back Pain
Does getting a massage help with lower back pain? Of course it does! Back massage is one of the best ways to cope with and prevent it, which is most often caused by stiffness and muscle spasms. It relaxes tight muscles so that the pain disappears and your posture becomes more upright.
If it is caused solely by sedentary work, working out regularly and massage therapy that targets your lower back pain can be the best ways to alleviate it. When combined, these two self-care routines can drastically reduce painful sensations or eliminate them totally.
A massage after an intense exercise helps you relax tired muscles, improves your blood circulation, and brings many other positive healing effects.
The Benefits of Massage
Massage is a highly beneficial wellness practice—you don't have to wait until your spine asks for help to decide to make it part of your self-care routine. Instead, you may notice the benefits right after your first massage session.
- It helps your body detoxify through sweating.
- Massage stimulates the production of hormones that contribute to improved moods and positive feelings of well-being: endorphins, oxytocin and dopamine are released by touch.
- It also stabilizes your mental state by helping to relieve tension/stress and its effects.
- Massage improves blood circulation and helps your cells receive more oxygen and nutrients.
Massage Therapy Downsides and Precautions
Despite the fact that getting a massage is considered to be a highly beneficial practice, it can have downsides for a specific group of people. Particularly:
- Elderly people whose bones no longer have the same strength.
- Any age group who is suffering from broken bones, wounds, or injuries. In some cases, massage can be done with care during the post-traumatic recovery period. Make sure you tell your therapist about any current or past injuries so they can work around them.
- Patients suffering from inflammation. Massage at the site of inflammation can worsen the situation if not done properly.
- Pregnant and lactating women. Massages during pregnancy can stimulate the body, leading to a potential miscarriage. What’s more, toxins released during the massage process pass into the milk. In such a situation, you can take preventive measures such as using a massage chair for pregnant women and notifying your therapist of your current condition.
How to Perform a Back Pain Relief Massage at Home
Prefer to get a massage from the comfort of your own home? In this case, you must warn your doctor about your intention to do a massage at home so that he can equip you with special instructions and precautions. Below are some tips to make this experience safe and effective.
1. Use a firm couch so your body has more support
Whether you’re giving or receiving a back massage, the couch must be firm and you must have your body aligned just right. Otherwise, there’s a risk of damage to the spine from bending on a soft surface that lacks support.
2. Use an ankle support
For better blood flow to your back, you can place soft cushions under your shins when laying on your stomach. This will provide better support, improve your comfort level and the overall back massage experience. Plus, it's a good way to relieve leg swelling at the same time, which is also a common complaint for those of us who spend most of the day sitting or standing at work.
3. Choose a hypoallergenic oil
Massage oils are great for reducing friction from hands rubbing on your body but can cause allergies or irritation for some people. Before getting started, read the ingredients and make sure that the oil doesn’t contain components that you’re sensitive to or test it beforehand on a part of your body.
4. Master techniques for self-massage for lower back pain
Giving yourself a back massage can help because it’s almost impossible to harm yourself. Your instinct for self-preservation will usually prevent you from hurting yourself! Help yourself out after a hard day and massage your tired lower back. Make a fist and apply pressure to the sore spot.
It’s also sometimes helpful to massage yourself while lying on the floor. To do this, bend your knees and wrap your arms under them, round your back, and roll on the floor like a ball.
5. Preventing lower back pain using a massage chair
Do you have a desk job that leaves you with little time to visit a specialist? A back massage chair can be a great substitute for a masseuse and might be a useful self-help tool to consider. It’ll feel amazing, while keeping your spine healthy and capable of coping with its main task: supporting your whole body.
Do massage chairs help back pain? Hundreds of customers have confirmed that they do! Our massage chairs for back pain can be easily adjusted according to your health needs, massaging your entire body from the neck to your upper legs or targeting a specific part of your body, Massaging chairs come in a variety of designs and with a range of relaxing features.
Massage is a beneficial practice that has many health advantages beyond relieving lower back pain. It’s a calming way to set aside time for self-care. Massage chairs go a step further in offering the relief of therapeutic back massage at any time, from the comfort of your own home. If you’re interested in a massage chair, please get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to help you find one that’s perfect for your needs.