Registered massage therapists are trained in the assessment and diagnosis of injuries of the soft tissue and joints of the body. They use a blend of modern science and ancient philosophies to treat many conditions. Massage therapy is becoming more widely accepted in the medical community as a credible treatment for many types of back pain. Studies have shown that massage therapy can benefit chronic back pain sufferers by increasing blood flow and circulation, decreasing tension in the muscles, reducing pain caused by tight muscles and even improving sleep. Massage therapy can provide relief for many common conditions that cause back pain, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, sports injuries and various other soft tissue sprains and strains.
Massage is non-invasive and considered very low risk for most people. In addition to physical benefits, massage is usually relaxing. This can have profound psychologically benefits, particularly to someone suffering from chronic back pain. Depression is a symptom of chronic pain. Massage is thought to release endorphins, natural chemicals in the body that make you feel good and act as pain suppressors.
It is estimated that 75% of healthcare providers have sent their patients to massage therapists. If appropriate, you may want to ask your physician for a referral to a massage therapy professional in your area.
Most episodes of acute lower back pain are caused by muscle strain, such as from lifting a heavy object, or a traumatic injury like a sudden movement or a fall. The lower back pain can be severe and last anywhere from several hours to a couple of weeks. When back muscles are strained or torn, they can become inflamed.
With inflammation, the back muscles can spasm, thus causing both lower back pain and difficulty in moving. Massage therapy helps to relieve muscle spasm, improve body circulation and promote healing injuries. It can also help prevent injury. The large upper back muscles are also prone to irritation, either due to weakness or overuse.
Spinal arthritis is the inflammation of the joints of the spine. It can cause the breakdown of cartilage between the aligning facet joints in the back portion of the spine. As the facet joints become inflamed they create frictional pain as bone rubs on bone. Massage therapy can help to reduce osteoarthritis pain by improving circulation, reducing stress and muscle tension. However, it is important to seek a professional who is specifically trained in treating people with arthritis.
It is important to obtain a proper diagnosis on the cause of your back pain from a medical practitioner before beginning massage therapy. This is to ensure you receive the appropriate treatments and to rule out potentially serious conditions.