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How Can Massage Help Treat Back Pain?

back pain

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If you suffer from back pain, you more than likely have looked for ways to help treat it. While there are various options, such as medication, they don’t always work very well. They could also be expensive. Because of this, it’s a good idea to consider using a massage to help treat back pain. Below you’ll discover more behind the benefits of massage treatments and how it can be used to heal back pain. 

What is Back Pain?

Back pain is when there is severe inflammation around the muscles or ligaments of the spine. This could be due to your straining the area or actually dislocating a vertebra, disk, or ligament in it. Back pain can occur anywhere in the back, but it especially occurs in the lower portion of it. 

Types of Back Pain

There are a handful of different back pain types. 

  • Axial 

This type of pain is often caused by strain. It usually comes and goes. 

  • Referred

Referred pain is a step up from axial pain and usually causes you to have major aches. It could make it difficult for you to move around. 

  • Radicular 

Radicular pain is usually the most intense form of pain. It’s very deep and causes severe spasms. It could also cause your nerves to tingle due to inflammation or compression. 

What Causes Back Pain?

Back pain can be caused by a few different things. This includes:

back pain

  • Muscle or ligament strain
  • A ruptured disc
  • Osteoporosis
  • Poor posture
  • Obesity
  • Scoliosis
  • Smoking

While back pain can be caused by numerous other problems, such as an underlying medical condition, these are the most common causes of it. 

Symptoms of Back Pain

Unfortunately, back pain comes with many symptoms besides just severe pain. 

  • Aching muscles
  • Shooting pain throughout your body
  • Pain when you move around
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Numbness around the back and surrounding areas
  • Swelling in your back

What is a Massage?

A massage is a type of manipulation that involves the hands and arms being used to help relieve and loosen soft body tissues, such as tendons, ligaments, connective tissues, and muscles. 

The Benefits of Using a Massage for Back Pain

There are many incredible benefits that come with using a massage for back pain. Below are some you’ll find if you decide to use it. 

  • It Can Calm and Eventually Eliminate Pain

One of the best benefits about using a massage for back pain is that it calms down any pain you might be having. This is because it soothes the damaged or inflamed area. By regularly using a massage for back pain, you’ll find it could eventually even eliminate back pain for good. As one of the most experienced chiropractors in Anchorage, I often recommend it for long-lasting relief. 

  • It Increases Blood Circulation

The different motions of a massage on your body can encourage lactic acid to be removed from your tissues and muscles. This can help to remove metabolic waste from your body which can be the cause of bad blood circulation. By using a massage, it will increase your blood circulation which can help to not only keep you flexible, but improve your blood pressure as well. 

  • It Improves Flexibility

Massages can also improve your body’s flexibility. This is because it helps to release tension and improve your blood circulation. By improving your body’s flexibility, it can make you more mobile, prevent injuries, and prevent the build-up of lactic acid. 

  • It Helps You to Relax

Sometimes when you have back pain, it can cause tension and stress. A massage helps to release this which can keep your body relaxed. This is because it helps you to manage your body’s fight-or-flight response.

  • It Increases Endorphins

Massage can help to increase the amount of endorphins in your body. These chemicals can cause your brain to feel better which can decrease tension, depression, and anxiety. It also works to help quicken recovery from pain. 

  • It Targets the Body’s Tender Points

For back pain caused by conditions such as fibromyalgia, massage can help to find tender points and calm them. This helps to release stiffness and stop shooting pain in various areas. 

The Best Massages for Back Pain 

If you’re thinking about using a massage for back pain, you’ll want to consider the following types. 

  • Deep Tissue Massage

A deep tissue massage works to help realign your body’s muscles and connective tissues. While a little more intense compared to other massages, it works deeply in your body to help provide relief. It also helps to quickly release tension. 

  • Swedish Massage

Created in Sweden, this massage uses long gliding strokes to provide the body with relief. The strokes also encourage more circulation to flow toward the heart which can provide not only relaxation, but better blood circulation. Because of this, it’s also a good massage type to use if you have severe back pain and tension. 

  • Myofascial Release Massage

Myofascial release massage uses gentle pressure on your connective tissues. This helps to relieve pain while also increasing your flexibility. While at first, this massage might be a little painful due to its targeting certain pressure points, it can provide faster relief. 

  • Craniosacral Therapy

This unique type of massage involves your massage therapist using light, gentle touches on painful areas. Because of this, it’s often recommended for those who have chronic back pain. 

This type of massage can eventually invite cerebrospinal fluid to form around your spine which can help to reduce pain. Eventually, it can also work to improve your flexibility.  

  • QL Muscle Massage

Also known as quadratus lumborum massage, a QL massage requires you to lie on each side of your body for 20 minutes. This helps to stretch out your QL muscle while a massage therapist also uses special strokes on the area. This type of massage is usually best for lower back pain. 

Back pain can cause extreme tension and make it very difficult for you to do the things you love. While medications can be used, they aren’t always the healthiest option and might not even work well. Because of this, it’s a good idea to consider using a massage for your back pain. It will not only help to relieve pain, but improve many other things as well, such as your circulation and flexibility. 

About Dr. Brent Wells

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. is the founder of Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated thousands of patients using various services designed to help give you long-lasting relief from different health problems, such as chiropractic care, physical rehab therapy, and massage therapy in Anchorage, Wasilla, and Juneau.

Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe and Lifehack. He is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.


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