How Massage Therapy Can Help Your Back Pain

A proper massage is often all you need to relieve back pain, which at times can be extremely painful and even debilitating. While not everyone can handle a deep tissue massage, those who can will swear by any massage therapist that can provide this for them when they have a back pain ‘flare-up’. For others, a mild or moderate massage will still provide some relief from back pain, and may even be all that’s necessary. If you suffer from back pain and have been cleared by your doctor of any structural abnormality (such as a herniated disk), you may want to try massage therapy to provide you with some relief.

The benefits of massage include:

  • Improved blood flow to your muscles. This can help reduce the inflammation and pain caused by injury to your muscle tissues.
  • Endorphin release. The pressure on your muscles from massage can help release endorphins from your brain, causing your mood to improve, and can also reduce anxiety and help with your sleep.
  • Improved flexibility. Being able to move your muscles more easily can in itself make you feel better and decrease your pain levels.

Despite the various techniques that your therapist may use the pain relief you will feel comes from the same place: decreased pressure on your nerves. Pressure on your nerves that causes you pain is caused by improper lymph drainage and inflammation in your blood vessels. Lymph is a clear fluid that circulates in your body’s tissues, and when your body’s tissues are inflamed (from some type of injury, whether direct or indirect), it is much more difficult to drain the lymph. Massage enables your body to remove the excess lymph and decrease inflammation, thereby increasing circulation to your tissues, and decreasing the amount of pain you are feeling.

If you experience back pain or even the occasional ache, try massage therapy. Regular, weekly treatments can help lower the amount of pain you feel, or even eliminate it entirely.

Please note that massage therapy is contraindicated in the following circumstances:

  • Immediately after surgery.
  • Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
  • If you suffer from heart disease or are prone to blood clots, unless otherwise indicated by your doctor.
  • If you suffer from an infectious skin disease, or have an open wound.
  • If you have a fever.
  • Over heavy bruising, tumor, inflamed skin, or any area that might have fractured bone below the tissue surface.