5 Helpful Massage Techniques for Back Pain : If you are suffering from an aching or painful back, you will know just how frustrating it is. Back pain is all too common and is often caused through poor posture or faulty biomechanics but there are many reasons as to why pain may occur. Identifying the reason is important so to avoid frequent flare ups but prevention is always better than cure. A regular massage can promote deep relaxation and ease any existing problems while promoting the healing process.
Massage is typically known as a nurturing treatment but there are various types of massage and some will be more suitable on a personal level than others. But how does massage work? Firstly, it aids relaxation and provides a sense of nurturing which is invaluable especially if feeling stressed or a little out of sorts. Secondly, massage helps to relieve pain too. Because chronic pain lowers resistance, impacts the immune system and reduces mood, massage improves blood flow, so oxygenates the muscles, it eases pain, boosts healing and relaxes too. Massage can also release and loosen any connective tissue.
Massage will aid a bad back, but it is important to consider whether a gentle or deeper massage is required:
- Swedish massage techniques are useful for back pain and the various techniques includes effleurage, petrissage, vibration, friction and tapotement. In effleurage, the strokes glide, slide and sweep across and the movement is slow and soothing. This is often repeated so to help relax the muscles. Petrissage is a type of kneading and squeezing which helps stimulate nerve endings and improves circulation while eradicating any impure substances.
Vibration techniques vibrate or shake the body and may be done in a slow or rapid manner and in varying sequences. This helps release tension. Friction rubs the back forwards and backwards which warms the muscles and tapotement pats or taps the body a little like a drumming technique. This is usually the final technique and signifies the end of the session.
- A deep tissue massage can be a little too strong for some people. The massage works very deeply into each muscle helping to release any scar tissue but, also aids the release of any knotted muscles responsible for pain in the upper back or neck. It can make the back feel very tender for a day or two but is often followed by a sense of relief as movement and stiffness dissipates. Many of the techniques are the same as in Swedish massage and it is a beneficial technique when pain or stiffness is present.
- The goal of trigger point massage is to identify and then release any tight muscles. This is known as the trigger point and these often cause pain in other areas of the body. If there is a trigger point in the back, there may be sciatic nerve pain, where the pain radiates down the leg. In trigger point massage, the emphasis on identifying and releasing those trigger points and so, the whole of the body or the whole part of the muscle is not necessarily worked upon. It is a targeted massage technique.
- Myofascial release is relative to trigger point massage in that the trigger points in the fascia are targeted so to alleviate any pain experienced. The fascia is a thin layer of connective tissue that acts as the cover over all the muscles and connects each muscle to the body. At first, there is a gentle relaxing massage all over the body, where the therapist identifies any tightness or tension. This is worked upon very gently, but pressure increases so to release tight areas of the fascia.
- The aim of craniosacral therapy is to release any physical imbalance in the body and the therapist looks for restrictions in the muscles and works upon connective tissues. This helps to relieve pain. It can help relieve both neck pain and back pain and as the touch is very light and soothing, it encourages the correct movement of cerebrospinal fluid around the spinal cord and the brain.
Stress is an integral part of life these days, but a regular massage can help offset the negative aspects of stress and instead, increases feelings of wellbeing and inner harmony. Stress can increase tension and feelings of pain and if accompanied by poor posture, this can lead to general aches and pains as well as chronic pain in some cases. Ultimately, any type of massage will work wonders but do consider whether you feel the need for relaxation or, to really work upon any tighten muscles and knots.
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5 Helpful Massage Techniques for Back Pain
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