Can Massage Therapy Help Lower Back Pain?
Updated: Mar 17
Back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the United States, affecting approximately eight out of every ten people at some point in their lives. For many people, back pain is a chronic condition that can greatly impact their quality of life. There are several treatments available for back pain, including medication, surgery, and massage therapy. Today, we want to address the benefits of massage therapy and why you should consider booking an appointment today.
Does massage therapy help lower back pain? As you've probably gleaned from the introduction, massage therapy is one possible method of treatment for back pain and it's one that many around the world use each year to relieve symptoms. Before we talk more about massage therapy, however, let's explore the biology of the lower back.
Lower Back Muscles
So, why do so many people struggle with lower back issues? The lower back is actually a very complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. All of these work together to provide support, strength, and flexibility to the lower back. However, because there are so many different components involved, it's not surprising that problems can arise.
One of the most common causes of lower back pain is muscle strain; this can happen when the muscles in the lower back are overworked or injured. Unfortunately, muscle strain can occur for many reasons, including lifting heavy objects, sudden movements, or poor posture. In many cases, muscle strain is the result of repetitive motions, such as sitting in an awkward position for long periods. In the modern world, poor posture in an office chair or a lack of high-quality chairs in the first place cause problems.
Known as the lumbar region, the lower back is especially susceptible to pain because it supports the majority of the upper body's weight. With five vertebrae (L-lumbar) bones, the lower back is also home to many muscles and ligaments. Though some diseases affect the lower back, poor posture and habits are the more common cause of problems.
How Does Massage Therapy Relieve Pain?
In reality, massage therapy has lots of benefits when it comes to pain relief for the lower back. For starters, it can help improve blood circulation. When you increase blood flow to an area, you also bring more oxygen and nutrients. Over time, this can help muscles recover faster from injury and ease some of the tension that might be causing pain.
Furthermore, massage therapy can also release endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. These endorphins can help block pain signals from reaching the brain, providing relief from even chronic pain.
Next, a massage allows muscles to relax. When muscles are tight, they can put pressure on the spine and other structures in the back, leading to pain. But when those muscles are relaxed, the pressure is relieved, and the pain often goes away.
As people with lower back pain will know, there's often a negative spiral that comes with the problem and it seems impossible to escape. There's the back pain itself, and there's the stress and anxiety that seem to multiply the discomfort. With this in mind, it's no wonder that many people turn to massage therapy as a way to help break the cycle. As well as working on the physical effects of lower back pain, massage can also help to reduce the psychological factors that can make the pain feel worse.
Can massage therapy help lower back pain? With all these benefits, many find that they can relieve pain and tight muscles thus making life that little bit more comfortable!