If you struggle with ongoing back pain, it is often wise to take a multifaceted approach to back pain management. Taking an over-the-counter NSAID can help when the pain really flares up. Long-term, you may also want to look into options like cortisone injections. But for day-to-day, natural relief, you really can't do better than massage therapy. Here are a few key reasons why massage therapy is an especially beneficial treatment for back pain.
It focuses on loosening the muscles.
Whether or not your muscles are the core cause of your back pain, they are almost certainly a factor. Sometimes, back pain starts with stiff, sore muscles that pull the spine out of alignment, resulting in pressure on certain nerves and increased tension on other muscles. Other times, a back problem starts with a ligament or tendon issue. The ligament or tendon contracts, putting strain on muscles, which leads to soreness. Massage can loosen the muscles and make them less tense, which will subsequently allow the surrounding tissues to relax. In other words, relieving muscle tension can break the cycle.
It can loosen more than your back.
Back pain can be caused or made worse by soreness or tension in the neck, back, or even the arms. When your legs are sore, you may stand unevenly, which could strain your back. When your arms are sore, you may use one more than the other, causing back strain. Massage will loosen the muscles all over your body, so if another part is pulling on or causing soreness in your back, the massage will help address that.
It can be personalized.
Some treatments are one size fits all, and other treatments can be personalized. Massage can be personalized. If your lower back is sorer one time, your massage therapist can focus on that area during that session. If the soreness is further up next time, they can do more work further up. You can also ask your therapist to change the amount of pressure they are using according to your needs and preferences. And you can even ask them to spend more time on your back and less on, say, your arms or legs.
Back pain is not always easy to deal with, but getting regular massages can really help. Talk to a massage therapist near you, and ask them what moves and strokes are most likely to recommend in your case.