How does massage help with back pain?

Massage Therapy and Back Pain

While some people have massages solely for relaxation reasons, others use it as a way to recover from injury or ease pain caused by a variety of conditions. Back pain is a common problem across the US, ranging from mild discomfort to debilitating pain. In fact, back pain is the leading cause of disability and most common reason for missing work around the world.

Rather than reaching for the painkillers all the time, massage is a natural way to relieve pain and even treat conditions that cause it.

Massage therapy provides a number of benefits that can help to relieve back pain, including:

  • It stimulates blood flow to the affected area – Massage is known to increase blood flow. More blood flow to the affected area means that more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to it. This helps to aid recovery by essentially “feeding” the muscles what they need to grow and repair. Increased blood flow can also help to flush out the toxins that might be causing pain.
  • Decreases tension in the muscles – For people who sit at a desk all day, back and neck pain can be caused by excessive tension. The pressure from massage techniques helps to relieve this tension, relax the muscles, and improve their flexibility. 
  • Increases levels of endorphins – Massage can also help to ease the perception of pain. This means that even when it doesn’t treat the cause of the pain, it can still help you to feel it less. This is because of the way it affects your neurons and triggers the release of neurotransmitters like endorphins and serotonin – the feel-good chemicals that can decrease your sensitivity to pain.

Which types of massage are best for back pain?

If you want to get a massage to help with your back pain, there are lots of different options. The following types of massages can help to relieve your back pain:

  • Deep tissue massageThis involves applying deep pressure to the muscles, which helps to relieve tension and work out any knots in the muscles which might be causing your pain.
  • Swedish massage – Swedish massage is similar to deep tissue but normally involves lighter pressure, making it a more relaxing massage.
  • Myofascial release – This type of massage targets specific trigger points in the muscle tissue. The therapist will identify tight spots and knots, working these out by applying pressure.
  • Hot stone massage – Heat can also be an effective treatment for relieving back pain, making hot stone massage a good choice, too.

If you suffer from chronic back pain or are recovering from a back injury, then speak to the team at Moonstone Massage to find out how our treatments can help you.