Back pain can strike virtually anyone, young or old, and it can become dangerous fairly quickly. Research has found that back pain is the second most common reason for people to visit a medical practitioner.
Left unchecked, back pain can be disabling: for adults below 40, it is the most common reason for being unable to perform everyday activities. There are a number of reasons that back pain can strike—genetic factors, PMS, an underlying condition, a sports injury, stress, and even depression.
In most cases, back pain can be treated and managed easily if detected early. However, if the problem goes unchecked, it can escalate into disabling chronic pain. Besides medical intervention, this pain can be largely managed through massage therapy. Besides being inexpensive and incredibly relaxing, doctors largely recommend various massages for maintaining the health of your lower back. Here are some ways in which massage can help bring chronic lower back pain relief:
- Better Sleep
One of the major reasons behind chronic back pain is the lack of proper sleep. Besides leaving your muscles feeling fatigued, poor sleep has a degenerative effect on your recovery tissues. This means that your pain is exacerbated and takes more time to heal. In fact, poor sleep may well be the cause behind your chronic pain. The alleviation of all sleep-related issues lies in massage. A 30-minute massage session greatly improves your sleep cycle by releasing serotonin, which relaxes your body and enables deeper sleep. This can help mitigate your localized pain while improving your overall health.
- Relaxes Muscles
The physical motion of getting a massage increases blood circulation in affected areas. Due to this rush of blood, your muscles relax and muscular tension is released. Most back pain is related to the tensing up of muscles due to some form of exertion, which causes muscles to tighten and become inflexible. Massage techniques like the Swedish massage technique have been developed to de-stress muscles and increase flexibility in your body. In this, through rubbing and gliding strokes, your muscles are gently eased to promote blood circulation. The technique is so potent, that you will feel instant relief after just one session!
- Reduces Inflammation
If your chronic back pain is caused by conditions such as spondylitis, chances are that your back is constantly inflamed. This pain can severely affect your movement, creating a vicious cycle. The lack of mobility incenses this pain, causing your muscles to swell and put pressure on your spine. The only way to break this cycle is to reduce this inflammation. Pure essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus have anti-inflammatory properties, targeted at reducing muscular swelling. Studies find that by getting regular massages with pure essential oils like thyme, your swelling can go down by 75%! (Plus, the comforting and heady fragrance of these oils will also help you sleep better!)
- Disrupting Pain Signals
Most pain management is resolved through medication, whose side-effects are well-documented. For chronic pain, it is actually detrimental to be on constant painkillers, which makes pain management alternatives necessary. Massage, in particular, grants the solutions of painkillers without the risk of addiction or side effects. The pressure generated by massage on your soft releases endorphins in your body, which naturally fight pain. Studies find that the increased blood circulation causes the pain signals to your brain to get disrupted, thereby immediately alleviating pain. As an added plus, using pure essential oils can help the pain-afflicted area to become numb and pain-free!
- Improved posture
The effects of touch with regard to muscular healing have been well-documented. By applying pressure on trigger points in your pain areas, stress is released, which gives almost instant relief. You will find yourself being able to move more freely, sit straighter and bend more easily than before after a massage session. This is because the pressure applied by various massage techniques can help restore proper alignment to your body. This benefit strikes right at the heart of one of the major causes of lower back pain: poor posture. Through regular massage sessions, your muscles loosen and become more flexible. This helps your body settle into a better posture, which can help improve the health of your back.
While the benefits of massage make it a definite recommendation for anyone suffering from chronic back pain, there are some things worth being wary about. While simpler, regular massages are a romantic way of bonding with your partner—undertake complex routines by a licensed massage therapist. Make sure to consult with a doctor to find the right massage technique for you, since a poorly administered massage can actually be detrimental. However, as long as you keep safety measure in mind, a message can be the ultimate way of attaining chronic lower back pain relief!
Jessica is an avid reader who enjoys getting lost in the world of books. Holding on to her passion for fitness, She Believes that a healthy diet is a key to healthy living.