Massage Therapy for Back Pain Relief
Back pain is a tragically common affliction in adults, negatively impacting the daily well-being of millions of Americans. Chronic back pain has various causes, such as aging, injury, inactivity, and improper weight-lifting technique. There are several methods for treating back pain, including rest, over-the-counter medication, and the application of heat or ice.
Massage therapy is among the most effective remedies for back pain. While anti-inflammatory medications and simple bed rest work wonders for a sore back, massages are an excellent alternative treatment method promising significant short-term pain relief. Keep in mind there’s more than one way to massage a back, and you might be curious to learn the fundamentals of each. Who will win in the epic Swedish massage vs deep tissue massage showdown? Find out soon!
Effectiveness of Massage Therapy
So does massage therapy actually work, or is it yet another on a long list of health fads and trendy alternative medicine treatments that ultimately fall short in the most critical metric for evaluating the usefulness of a given healthcare strategy: Does it solve the problem it’s intended to fix?
In this case, at least, it does: The various styles of massage therapy alleviate pain, improve flexibility, and increase athletic performance. There isn’t necessarily a “best” type of massage therapy—all are effective forms of back pain management. That said, your personal preferences and the nature of your specific situation may lead you to favor one over the others. That’s why we’ve compiled the following list of the significant types of massage therapy, complete with concise yet detailed descriptions—Enjoy.
Five Massage Techniques for Back Pain Relief
Swedish Massage: Perhaps the most common massage type, Swedish massages consist of long, gliding strokes and manual kneading of the major muscle groups, as well as applied friction and gentle, rhythmic slapping or tapping. Swedish massages stimulate relaxation and unknot cramped muscles, meaning they’re a perfect choice if you’re in the mood for a recreational and therapeutic massage.
Deep Tissue Massage: It’s all in the name: Deep tissue massages aren’t meant for folks looking for a relaxing recreational massage. They involve applying hard pressure on sore muscles, pressing through the muscles and as close to the bone as possible. This process releases scar tissue and helps relax the tightly knotted muscles responsible for the client’s chronic back pain. Expect to experience a few days of muscle soreness after your session, but if the massage causes you genuine pain, then don’t be afraid to consult with your MT.
Neuromuscular Massage: Also referred to as myofascial trigger point therapy or myofascial release, neuromuscular therapy is a specialized massage treatment involving firm and sustained pressure application to myofascial trigger points—taut, painful bands of muscle. Neuromuscular massages ease muscle tension, reducing pain and improving blood flow.
Shiatsu Massage: A shiatsu massager serves clients using their fingers, elbows, and knees to apply deep, firm pressure along specific energy lines or meridians in the body. For back pain, the patient lies face-down, and the MT massages the bladder meridian, which extends from the head to the sole of each foot. A Japanese export, shiatsu massages induce a pervasive sense of wellness by improving one’s energy balance—or qi.
Chiropractic Massage: Chiropractic is a holistic alternative healthcare practice founded on the hypothesis that misaligned joints are the root cause of many health problems and that regular spinal adjustments relieve pain and promote physical well-being. Chiropractic adjustments purport to improve blood flow and relax soft tissue, simultaneously treating back and joint pain and making it less likely to reoccur.
Maybe you’ve thought about embarking on a career in massage therapy but have never been quite sure how or where to get started. The Hollywood Institute is the premier training program for the next generation of massage therapy stars: Contact us today if you want to learn more about the program or to schedule a visit to one of our Florida campuses.