Marina Alyea, a licensed massage therapist in San Francisco, has seen the effects of back pain firsthand. She’s worked on people’s backs that were so tight and rigid that they felt armored, she added. “When individuals are touched, they often don’t realize how much strain they are carrying,” she explains.
The upper back, neck, and shoulders are the most common issue areas, followed by the lower backaches that are commonly caused by job-related stress and a sedentary lifestyle, according to Alyea. Her customers frequently become weekend sports addicts in an effort to be more active, “and damage themselves because they’re so tight from work,” she says.
Emotions can have a negative impact on a person’s back. “I had one client who was discussing the potential of going to war, and as I was massaging her, she expressed her deep concern that her son would be drafted,” Alyea explains. The client breathed more deeply and her shoulders eventually relaxed after confiding her anxieties, according to Alyea.
It makes her happy to see someone’s body loosen up, she says. “Clients begin to have more color in their bodies,” Alyea explains. “Massage promotes circulation, which affects the tone of the tissue.”
Is massage a viable option for my ailing back?
Scientists have lately conducted research that suggests it may be the case. Massage significantly reduced lower back pain in persons with fairly severe chronic pain, according to research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Participants in the study reported that after receiving an hour of massage once a week for ten weeks, their pain levels had decreased by nearly half. Participants’ ability to carry out daily duties increased by roughly 50% as a result of the pain relief. Massage may help with low back pain, according to a 2008 assessment of 13 trials, especially when paired with exercises and instruction.
What role could massage play in the treatment of back pain?
Massage has a variety of beliefs about how it works. Therapeutic massage has been practiced for thousands of years in ancient societies such as China, India, and Japan, where practitioners used various forms of massage to improve well-being. Western scientists have only lately conducted studies that suggest massage can help with lower back discomfort. Massage releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which produce mental and physical relaxation and increases the amount of pain you can bear, according to one study.
What types of massages should I think about?
Most massage therapists provide a variety of massage techniques, including Swedish and shiatsu. The therapist kneads or rubs your body, frequently with broad sweeping strokes, to relax muscles and increase circulation in Swedish massage. Shiatsu practitioners cure pain by applying pressure to specific “trigger spots” in the body.
Before obtaining a massage, consult your doctor to see if there are any contraindications. If your therapist is using too much or too little pressure, or if the pressure is too painful, or if there are any locations she should avoid, don’t be afraid to inform her. Also, tell your massage therapist about any medical concerns you have so he or she can offer the best sorts of massage for you.
“Massage therapy, as far as I’m concerned, will be fine regardless of the scenario. There’s a slim probability of causing any injury “Dr. Frank Eismont, professor and vice-chairperson of the University of Miami Medical Center’s Department of Orthopedics, agrees.
When I go to a massage therapist, what should I expect?
Alyea explains that it all depends on the therapist’s degree of expertise and experience, and she advises individuals to inquire about training. Tell the therapist what you hope to gain from the session and how long you want it to last. Massages usually take 30 to 90 minutes, and the rate should be agreed upon ahead of time. Make sure the therapist is aware of any medical conditions you may have, and let her know which areas require the most care.
Will one session suffice?
It is entirely dependent on the individual. Severe back pain may necessitate multiple sessions. According to massage experts, nagging back discomfort caused by poor posture is one of the easiest to treat. “I attempt to help them retrain their posture and relax their muscles, and they usually feel a lot better,” Alyea explains. “I tell other people to get up from their desks and move around [through the day],” she says.
How big of a difference will the massage make in terms of my pain?
Again, it depends on the severity of your discomfort and the source of it. The benefits of this treatment may continue longer than you expect for patients who suffer from persistent lower back pain. According to research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 78 persons with lower back pain who had 10 weeks of massage felt substantially better a year later than they did before the treatment. According to the study, the intensity of their symptoms and degree of handicap was still roughly 50% lower a year after they concluded their last session than before they had had a massage.
Start your search for a massage therapist by looking through the NJHealthSource.com database.