Massage for back-pain relief


A regular massage is often considered to be a treat, rather than a necessity. Most people believe that having a massage is good for aches and pains, or can help if they’ve overdone the exercise. Not everybody realizes that massage therapy is also a powerful painkiller that can even be used to help people with back problems to reduce the amount of medication they must take.

Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain and if you’re one of the 31 million Americans who suffer from back pain at some point in their life, you’ll know how miserable it can be. If you are dealing with chronic back pain – which is pain that’s lasted more than three months and less than six – it can impact on your daily life and stop you doing things you want to do. You could be reliant on drugs to keep you mobile or help you sleep.

The vicious pain cycle

If you can no longer exercise pain-free, you might end up in a vicious cycle of inactivity which makes your pain worse, which stops you being active. Or you could just increase your meds but that just masks the problem. Also, some strong pain meds contain painkillers opioids like codeine which can lose their power over time as you build up a tolerance to their effects. They can also have unwanted side effects.

What you need is a way to manage your back pain that is effective but doesn’t have the side effects. Wouldn’t you know it, research has shown that regular massage along with your prescribed medication and any other advice from your healthcare supplier can be so powerful that you might be able to decrease the number of painkillers you need to manage your back pain and start to live a more active life.

How massage can help beat back pain

A massage session doesn’t just relax you, it can help to promote tissue repair, improve the blood circulation and does wonders for your stress levels and mood. Recent research showed that regular massage therapy combined with exercise helped people suffering from chronic back pain to feel less anxious about their condition too.  The study, which took place at a pain management clinic in Western New York, involved sixty chronic low back pain patients who were split into two groups. One group received regular massage therapy, twice a week for four weeks, along with their regular treatment, and one group only carried on with their prescribed treatments.

The participants all recorded their own pain levels before and after having massage therapy on a scale of one to ten. There was a significant difference between the pre-and post-treatment pain rating in the group that had regular massage, but the control group who carried on as normal reported no changes to their pain levels.

If you suffer from back pain and want to try something different – book that massage session now.

 

Common Health Problems: What can Massage do for YOU?

Massages are often sold as a purely indulgent treat that you get when you visit a spa or go on vacation, but there’s so much more to massage than just a feel-good treat. Did you know that the symptoms of many health problems can be reduced and even eliminated with regular massage?

Here are a few conditions that massage can work really well on; a few you probably know and some that may surprise you!

Stress

It’s no surprise that a regular dose of massage therapy is good for your stress levels, it works by helping to lower your blood pressure, improve your quality of sleep, and by reducing your stress levels, it’s also thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease.  In 2008 the journal Psycho-oncology published a study which came to the conclusion “…a significant reduction in cortisol (the main stress hormone) could be safely achieved through massage, with associated improvement in psychological well-being.”

Lower Back Pain

This is such a common problem, often caused by bad posture at work, so no wonder many employers are drafting in massage therapists to help. Poor posture and sitting for too long can cause a lot of lower back problems, as can simply getting older. Get your massage therapist on the case and you can hopefully wave goodbye to a sore back.

Sports Injuries

Fitness and sport are great for your health but they can sometimes lead to injuries and overworked muscles. A regular massage can help to heal any wear and tear on your muscles and tendons, and can also help you manage the pain from a chronic or acute sports injury. Having well looked-after muscles may also help prevent future injuries – one more reason to book those regular sessions.

Joint Stiffness

Massage can be a blessed relief for people dealing with the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis and other joint problems. Research published in 2013 in the Complementary Therapy in Clinical Practice journal said that people with rheumatoid arthritis reported some relief from pain and stiffness after four once-a-week moderate-pressure massages, topped up with self-massage at home in between treatments. Massage can also help with your range of motion and flexibility, which can relieve pain in your shoulders, knees, and hips.

Circulation

There is a whole range of health problems that can be caused by bad circulation, so it figures that boosting your circulation will be a bonus for your whole body. Regular massage helps to get the blood moving, getting essential nutrients to where they are needed in your tissues and vital organs much faster. The squeezing and pulling actions involved in a good massage also help to flush lactic acid out of your muscles and improve the circulation of lymph – the fluid that carries metabolic waste away from your muscles and internal organs.

Migraine symptoms

Nobody really knows what causes migraines, and there isn’t a cure, but if you’re a migraine sufferer you’ll be pleased to hear that studies have shown that massage can help reduce the frequency of attacks and lessen the severity of the symptoms. Some migraines, especially those triggered by stress, are especially receptive to massage treatment.

Skin Cancer

Of course, we wouldn’t tell you that massage cures cancer; it can’t. But in some cases, your massage therapist can notice abnormalities in your skin that you can’t see or just haven’t picked up on, and alert you to them. Regular massage can also be good for your skin as it gets the circulation going and the nourishing oils used in a treatment help to keep skin feeling soft.

Allergies

A massage helps to stimulate lymph flow around your body, which boosts your immune system and can help to reduce the severity of allergic reactions.  Sometimes a therapist might be able to tell just from your lymph nodes if you are an allergy sufferer as they can feel tender or swollen.

Did any of those surprise you? Of course, you don’t need to make an excuse for wanting a massage, but if you are dealing with any of these health issues, it’s good to know that your regular massage habit is helping.

10 Reasons Why You Should Book A Massage Today

You know that massage is good for you, whether you’ve had one in the past and enjoyed the positive effects or you’re just curious about whether a massage therapist’s healing touch could help sort out your aches and pains.

So, what’s stopping you?

We have 10 reasons right here that will inspire you to visit your massage therapist today…

It helps to treat health conditions

Massage therapy can help with several common health conditions, some that you might already know about and others that may come as a surprise to you. If you suffer from constant back, leg and neck pain; muscle tension and spasm, a good massage will send you on the route to feeling relief.

Some musculoskeletal conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome can also be helped by massage, as can the symptoms of chronic conditions like multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and some digestive disorders.

It can improve your circulation

Massage therapy is great for boosting blood circulation, which helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients around the body more efficiently.

Massage can increase lymphatic flow

Your lymphatic system is a system of tubes and lymph nodes running throughout your body which make up an important part of the immune system. It helps to fight bacteria and other infections, and healthy lymph flow also helps clear toxins from your body.

Speeds up post-injury healing

If you’ve overdone it or hurt yourself accidentally you’ll be glad to know that massage doesn’t just help reduce muscle soreness and stiffness, it can also break up scar tissue, freeing up movement and enhancing your recovery.

Increases your range of motion

Another thing that a great massage therapist can do is use techniques that stimulate the production of lubricants between connective tissues, which improves flexibility and balance.

It can help improve your posture

Massage helps to train your muscles, which improves the posture of your body as well as correcting any imbalances caused by sitting for long periods – which are common in people who sit at a desk all day.

Massage can give your immune system a boost

Massage is known to boost production of lymphocytes – the white blood cells which help fight off disease. Although a massage can’t guarantee you’ll never get another cold, there has been research that suggests it helps the body to fight infections and reduce the severity and duration of bugs and minor illnesses.

It makes you feel happier

The action of massaging the skin stimulates alpha brain waves, which are associated with relaxation, and promotes the release of endorphins – the body’s feel-good chemicals.

It can help you to de-stress

Massage is known to help reduce cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone, so elevated levels are not good for your body at all. At the same time, massage has been shown to boost serotonin and dopamine levels, making you feel more relaxed and happy.

Give you a better night’s sleep

If insomnia is your bedfellow, try a massage. It can help to balance out your sleep pattern and overcome insomnia and the fatigue that goes with not getting enough sleep.

Have we convinced you to book that appointment yet?