People who have suffered from back pain for just one day can attest to the discomfort, pain, and day to day inconvenience that it causes. For Americans, that means about 80% of us.
Back pain can make it difficult to sit down and stand up, tie your shoes, brush your teeth, or even give your child a hug.
People fall to doctors, chiropractors, holistic healers, and prayer for relief, but sometimes never get it.
These people are missing out on something vital – the benefits of massage for back pain. It seems overly-simplified but massage therapy can be an incredibly effective treatment.
Keep reading to find out of massage therapy may be the answer you’re looking for.
The Benefits of Massage for Back Pain
People don’t generally jump to the idea of massage for back pain, but think about it. Massage is one of the oldest, most innate instincts human beings have to combat pain and soreness.
What’s the first thing you do when you bang your shin on a coffee table (beside swear at it)? You grab and rub your shin with your hands. It’s not a coincidence, that reaction is a built-in human function.
Check out all the benefits massage can offer.
If you’re looking into massage for back pain, you should also know it has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, and even aid with depression. You probably already know that living with back pain increases your odds of having stress.
However, did you also know that 8 out of 10 Americans struggle with stress?
Why not opt for a treatment that manages both stress and back pain?
Massage lowers your heart rate and blood pressure while releasing dopamine and serotonin, which are chemicals that help you relax.
Finally, massage also lowers your cortisol and insulin levels, which are chemicals associated with stress.
Release of Endorphins
Massage for back pain often results in the release of endorphins in your body. Endorphins are often referred to as the “feel good” hormones because they boost pain relief and even happiness.
Endorphins are also released during physical exertion such as lifting weights or running in which case, it’s known as a “runners high”.
They work similarly to opioids, such as morphine and oxycodone, which are highly effective drugs often prescribed for pain relief for injuries or after surgery.
Muscle Tension Release
Many people have neck and back pain, as we discussed earlier.
However, the origin of each person’s back pain can vary. Some people experience muscle tension from an injury, some have ailments such as degenerative disc disease, some experience acute pain/tension from sports or exercise, while some have muscle tension from being too sedentary.
Regardless of why people have muscle tension, massage for back pain can significantly improve their condition. Tight muscle tissue can cause painful muscle contractions and spasms. Massage will not only relieve that pain, but it can improve mobility and flexibility.
Lactic Acid Breakup
One reason massage for back pain is so effective is that it helps release toxic chemicals from your body. Sore muscles are caused by lactic acid buildup, which is created during strenuous exercise or muscle use.
Lactic acid is broken up and released from the muscles during massage. Drinking plenty of water after a massage therapy session also helps your body flush out the waste.
Increased Blood Flow and Circulation
One of the benefits of massage for back pain is how it creates pressure which pushes and increased blood flow. This is a vital component to massage therapy because our bodies rely on steady blood flow to bring nutrients to our muscles for energy and recovery.
Drug-Free Pain Relief
Traditional pharmaceutical pain relievers have risks associated with them that reach far beyond the acute side effects they cause.
Pain medications have a poor history of abuse and addictions. While the finger of blame can be pointed at the individuals taking them, most people don’t take pain medications with the intent of becoming an addict.
In fact, people who become addicted to the opioids found in common pain relievers only took them because it was prescribed by their doctor. Often, young teens recovering from surgeries or injuries are prescribed pain medications and are all too susceptible to becoming addicted.
Using massage for back pain, or massage therapy, in general, provides a drug-free option for pain relief. Obviously, massage won’t be enough for every kind of pain or recovery. However, the more patients can rely on drug-free treatments, the safer they will be.
Helps with Spinal Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis of the spine and degenerative disk disease breaks down the support system of the back. They slowly destroy the cartilage in the joints, leading to pain, muscle tension, and soreness.
Leaning on massage for back pain related to osteoarthritis helps relax and loosen muscle tension, decreased the inflamed tissues. It also increases blood circulation in the area to flush toxins and bring in nutrient vital for muscle tissue repair.
Helps with Muscle Strains
As we spoke of earlier, turning to massage for back pain is especially useful for muscle strains. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike can benefit greatly from deep tissue massage.
Not only can deep tissue massage help with pain and soreness, but it can also help speed up the recovery process and improve mobility and flexibility, which is vital for performance.
Helps with Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a terrible ailment in which sufferers experience sleep and mood issues, as well as widespread musculoskeletal pain. Some of the pain is also localized and can be very intense.
Massage for back pain related to Fibromyalgia can help alieve pain in both the entire body and in the specific, more intense locations.
However, people with Fibromyalgia often avoid being touched or massaged as it can sometimes cause flareups.
Open Yourself Up to Massage Therapy
Regardless of what’s causing your back pain, consider the option of massage therapy treatment.
The absolute worst thing could happen is that you get a relaxing day at the spa in which you reap all of the other possible benefits of getting a massage for back pain. Worst case scenario – you spend an hour loosening your muscle tension and releasing feel-good hormones in your body!
Try massage therapy today, you won’t regret it!