How Massage Therapy Helps Our Back Problems

Updated: Mar 15, 2020

Back Pain Causes & Massage Benefits

There are numerous back problems that may benefit from massage therapy, including: Muscle strain in the upper or lower back area and neck. Episodes of acute lower back pain are caused by muscle strain, from lifting a heavy object or making a sudden movement or if you fall. The low back pain can be very severe and last for several hours, several days or even weeks.

When back muscles are strained or torn, the area around the muscles can become inflamed. With inflammation, the muscles in the back can spasm and cause both severe lower back pain and difficulty in moving. The large upper back muscles are also prone to irritation, either due to not conditioning them (lack of strength) or overuse injuries (such as repetitive movement). Upper back pain may also be due to a specific event, such as a muscle strain or sports injury.

By having regular massage treatments with, our masseurs will continually work with you and most of our massage treatments will ensure that we give you increased blood flow and circulation, which brings needed nutrition to muscles and tissues. This also aids in recovery of muscle soreness from physical activity or soft tissue injury (such as muscle strain). Muscle relaxation can improve flexibility, reduce pain caused by tight muscles and even improve sleep.Increased endorphin levels--the 'feel good' chemicals in the brain. This mood enhancer can ease depression and anxiety, which can help reduce pain and speed recovery--particularly important for those suffering from chronic back or neck problems.

Massage can help work out the spasm/irritation and improve range of motion. Osteoarthritis of the spine. Spinal arthritis is the breakdown of the cartilage between the aligning facet joints in the back portion of the spine. The facet joints become inflamed and progressive joint degeneration creates more frictional pain as bone rubs on bone. Therapeutic massage can help reduce osteoarthritis pain by improving circulation and reducing stress and muscle tension. However, it is important to find a professional who is specifically trained in treating people with arthritis. Fibromyalgia can also affect people differently, but is usually characterized by pain, stiffness, fatigue and/or non-restorative sleep. The patient typically feels both widespread pain and pain in specific 'tender points' as evidenced by physical examination. Massage can target both the tender points and the more broadly distributed pain and stiffness.

Benefits of Massage

Massage therapy is becoming more widely accepted in the medical community as a credible treatment for many types of back pain and/or as an adjunct to other medical treatments. Research shows that massage therapy has several potential health benefits for back pain sufferers.

Massage Therapy Treatments for Back and Neck Pain--What's Involved

One question patients often ask is: What kind of massage should I try? For overall relaxation and circulation, many patients find the Swedish massage technique helpful. This technique is characterized by long gliding strokes and kneading motions. For specific pain points, such as a lower back muscle strain.

Alternatives to Hands-on Massage

What if periodic appointments with a massage therapist just aren't practical for you? Due to things like busy schedules, travel times to a good massage therapist in your area although that shouldn't be a problem with but if getting a hands-on massage may just not work for your lifestyle. While not an exact substitute for human touch, there may be alternatives. There are many therapeutic products available for use in the home, such as hand-held massagers and massage pillows, which are designed with the goal of mimicking some of the techniques used by massage therapists. For people who have experienced significant pain relief from massage and are interested in investing in a product that delivers overall, massage-like benefits, a massage chair may be an option. Most massage chairs are designed to mimic the Shiatsu and Swedish massage techniques, making them potentially helpful for specific pain points in the back or neck and for overall relaxation.


Patients who suffer with severe back pain should be checked by medical personnel before beginning massage therapy, and patients should always obtain an accurate medical diagnosis for the cause of their back pain prior to beginning a new treatment such as massage therapy to rule out potentially serious conditions. Many massage therapy professionals like ourselves work as part of an interdisciplinary healthcare team for patient evaluation and treatment.

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