Massage Therapy for Low back Pain

West Hills Massage Is Here to Help

Over the past few months, I have successfully treated many clients who are suffering with low back pain. Unfortunately, low back pain is all too common these days. According to the National Institutes for health, “about 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. In a large survey, more than a quarter of adults reported experiencing low back pain during the past 3 months” (NIH). As you can see, low back pain interferes with our jobs, and our ability to enjoy our lives. Pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp, incapacitating pain. The pain can begin suddenly as a result of an accident or lifting something heavy, but it can also develop over time as a result of daily postures and repetitive motion.

Fortunately, West Hills Massage Therapy is here to help! Over the years, I have developed specific treatment techniques to help eliminate low back pain. I start with myofascial release in the lumbar region to soften up the connective tissue and allow the deeper tissue work to be more effective.  I then use deep tissue massage to relax the underlying muscles. Next, I check the “common suspects,” or most likely to be involved muscles for trigger points that are causing the pain. I then use trigger point compression to diminish the radiating pain. For particularly stubborn areas, I will also follow up with cupping therapy to increase blood flow to the area and to break up adhesions. When treating low back pain, it is critical to not only treat the low back where the pain is felt, but also the muscle groups that contribute to low back pain because they attach to the pelvis and can strain the lumbar region (think hamstrings, hip flexors, and gluteal muscles). My Pain Management Massage will include all of the above advanced techniques to get you feeling better and back to living your life. You will feel improvement after the first massage, but for best results I recommend 4-6 treatments so we can eliminate the trigger points and muscle spasm that are causing your pain. Consider buying a Pain Management Massage package to get the best price for your care.

Massage Therapy In The News

There is not only the anecdotal evidence I see in my practice, but also clinical studies that prove that massage therapy helps low back pain. A recent study done in Seattle, WA in 2011 measured the effects of weekly massage for low back pain compared to “usual care” alone (think rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy). Participants received massage for 1 hour once a week for 10 weeks. The participants’ symptoms, medication use, and ability to perform daily functions were measured after completion of the 10 treatments, then at 6 months, and again after 1 year. Significantly greater improvements in disability and bothersomeness of symptoms were seen…in both massage groups compared to those who received usual care. For example, at 10 weeks massage recipients were better able to perform daily activities, were more active, spent fewer days in bed, and used less anti-inflammatory medication than those who received usual care” (NIH). Furthermore, massage therapy can decrease the anxiety and depression associated with low back pain (AMTA).  It is so exciting that the effectiveness of massage therapy is now being measured and that science can prove what has been known for thousands of years…massage therapy is excellent for your overall health and for painful conditions.

Low Back Pain-What You Can Do

It is important to consider how your daily posture and activities are effecting your low back pain, and know that there are things you can do to help. Most importantly, stretch your hamstrings, hip flexors, and gluteal muscles to help relax the low back. Stretches should be gentle and not aggravating for your low back. Hold the stretch for a full minute. It is also important to get up and take movement/stretch breaks at work if you sit all day.  Ice and lumbar decompression at home can also be very helpful. When you come in for your Pain Management Massage, I will always take the time after to go over stretches, posture modifications, and other suggestions to help you at home and at work. Together, we will come up with a treatment plan to get you feeling better. As always, reach out with any questions. I’m here for you!

Be Well,

Jenn

Resources and further Reading:

“A Comparison of the Effects of 2 Types of Massage and Usual Care on Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized, Controlled Trial” American College of Physicians. July 5, 2011.  http://annals.org/aim/article/747008/comparison-effects-2-types-massage-usual-care-chronic-low-back

“Massage Therapy can be Effective for Low Back Pain” American Massage Therapy Association. October, 2012.  https://www.amtamassage.org/approved_position_statements/Massage-Therapy-Can-be-Effective-for-Low-Back-Pain.html

“Massage Therapy Holds Promise for Low Back Pain” National Institutes of Health. July, 2011.  https://nccih.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/070411.htm

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