Massage For Back Pain

Back pain is becoming an increasing problem for people of all ages around the world. Formerly thought of as a problem which is restricted to the elderly, it is now known to affect people of all ages, due to the increasing level of sedentary lifestyles we're adopting. Yet as people get older, there is a higher chance of their developing lower back pain. Interestingly, back pain is not a disorder per se, as we may be tempted to think; it is usually a symptom of different medical problems.

Common Causes of Back Pain

Evidently, back pain does not just spring up overnight. It is caused by a combination of different unseemly lifestyle approaches we may have adopted over time.

  • Sitting for too long: This is one of the causes of back pain. Sitting in one position for too long, especially when that position involves a poor posture, will affect you adversely.
  • Repetitive movements: Popular amongst sportsmen such as tennis/golf players who engage in repetitive movements over an extended period.
  • Carrying babies: This is common among nursing mothers who may be lifting their babies daily. As the baby grows, which they would, its weight increases and your back can suffer for it.
  • Driving or traveling for long hours: It is no surprise drivers complain a lot about back pain. The nature of their jobs includes sitting for long without changing position. Businessmen who are flying abroad often are no exception. Being in a fixed position in a plane or car for a long time will definitely contribute to back pain.
  • Inappropriate techniques in the gym: The right kind of moves in the gym will keep in shape, no questions about that. Adopting inappropriate techniques? This can send you to the doctors in no time.

Understanding Back Problems

  • Muscle Imbalance: This is one of the subtle causes of back pain, which is not usually given the needed attention it deserves. But it contributes to the back pain the majority of us suffer from. The body, like the wonderful work of art it is, consists of an array of muscles which are attached to joints throughout the body. For our body, and in particular our spine to function the best way it should, there is the need to ensure balance in muscle length and strength surrounding the spinal vertebrae. Our repetitive unhealthy habits may cause these muscles to go out of sync, leading to muscle imbalance. When this occurs, it means the muscles and connective tissues on one side of one's body may be short and tight, while the other side is long and weak. This pulls the body out of alignment, putting unnecessary stress on your spine. Tackling muscle imbalance can solve your back pain problems.
  • Weakness In Gluteus And Core Muscles: The gluteus muscle comprises three muscles layered on top of each other. They are the gluteus maximum, gluteus medium and gluteus minimum. They contribute majorly in our daily activities, influencing the positioning and movement of our lower region. Weakness in these muscles can cause an imbalance in our hips and pelvis, leading to lower back pain. Jobs that require prolonged sitting can cause tightness in our glutes, and when this happens other muscle groups may be "switched on" to take up the responsibility of holding our pelvis upright and helping us to walk. This switch can cause a muscle spasm, nerve pain and invariably lower back pain.
  • Increased Lordosis: This refers to an excessive curvature of the lower back. It is very prominent during and after pregnancy, and also common among people who sit for long periods. It can occur in people of all ages, so don't overthink it. Increased lordosis may be contributing to your back pain. Strengthening your lower muscles such as the hamstrings, your glutes and abdominal muscles can help in improving lordosis.
  • Bad Posture ( Upper And Lower Crossed Syndrome): Upper crossed Syndrome is a situation whereby the muscles of the neck, chest and shoulders have become deformed, due to strain or overexertion. The lower crossed syndrome is very similar to the upper crossed syndrome, but in this case, the pelvis is involved. It occurs due to muscle imbalances in the lower region caused by weakness to the abdominal and gluteus muscles. Retrain your muscles. Release the tight muscles and strengthen the weak ones and you're on your way to easing your back pain.

How Massage Helps

Adopting deep tissue massage therapy can help in identifying your back pain problems. Massage is a non-invasive, low-risk therapy and the benefits it provides extends beyond just your physical pain, your psychological well-being is taken care of also. Studies show that the painful side of cases of lower back pain can be correctly identified most of the time through palpation. Massages will help by:

  • Identifying the underlying problem through palpations: Asides being massage practitioners, most of our massage therapists are also trained physical therapists who can assess your problem from the medical point of view. They achieve this through deep tissue massage therapy.
  • Loosening right tissues: Excessive muscle tension will invariably cause restricted movement and back pain. Undergoing massage for back pain will promote the relaxation of these key muscle groups. Pain is ousted, and flexibility is restored.
  • Helping to activate weak muscles: A deep tissue massage will reactivate weak muscles and teach them how to switch on correctly.
  • Helping to release knots and adhesions: A trip to the massage room will leave you asking your therapist during sessions, "I felt something left, what's that?". These are the knots and adhesions that are released as your therapist work on your body. They're the build-up of tight and contracted muscles you never thought you had. Deep tissue massage will clear these knots and adhesions and have you feeling like you just got yourself a new body.
  • Flushing toxins and waste products from muscles: A good massage will certainly clear up built-up lactic acid in muscles and promote the elimination of by-products of muscle metabolism, allowing your muscles to achieve better nourishment.

Treatment Plan To Help Back Pain

Creating a new muscle memory

You may have heard of the concept "muscle memory", maybe in-depth or in passing. Well, this concept is true, as most or should we say everything we do involves the nervous system, which stores up our experience. Writing, dancing, drumming, and all muscle movements are possible due to muscle memory. It is the simple hypothesis of the body retaining a memory of what the abstract mind experiences and the abstract mind (or brain) storing up a memory of what our body experiences. Learn one skillful muscular movement, and you wouldn't have to relearn it again. With this concept, one doesn't need to think about a particular movement before he carries it out. The mind goes on an auto cruise.

This is true for massage and pain therapy. Create a new massage routine, try it for some time, let's say three close massages, ideally seven days apart and you can teach your muscles how to work optimally. Regular monthly maintenance treatment and keeping religiously to this routine will prevent your back pain or any other type of pain from coming back.

Common Home Techniques To Adopt

On your road to recovery from back pain, you can adopt simple home techniques to help you out. These include:

  • Gentle stretching
  • Warm bath or shower
  • Foam rolling
  • Adjusting sleep position

Our massage therapists will also be able to provide an individual stretching program as well as suggest strengthing exercises which will help in bringing you back to full health. To find our more or to book your back pain massage call us on 02037049760 or book online here.

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