Causes and Presentation of Back Pain
Back problems are among people’s most frequent complaints in healthcare clinics around the world and back pain is the number one cause of lost work days in the UK.
Sometimes we are in such a rush that we do not take the time to relax and care for our bodies as we should. Although all muscles are susceptible to overload, the neck and back muscles are the most vulnerable.
Here at MB Massage therapy centre, we find that lower back pain is most often caused by people’s ingrained habits of use – overloaded muscles, bad posture and movement and lack of stretch and exercise. Muscles also tire when asked to do jobs that they are not designed for, eg if the gluteus muscles (buttocks) are less active then the quadratus lumborum (the deepest muscle in the lower back) will compensate and become overnight. This situation can lead to lower back spasms.
How can massage help back pain?
Massage is a therapy that works not only in the focus area of the massage but in our overall well-being. In this sense, having a treatment in a warm and relaxed atmosphere will help you to achieve improvement around the body and, of course, enjoy a deeply relaxing experience. But the benefits of a soothing back massage go way beyond the relief of stress, here are seven proven incredible advantages:
- Muscle Pain ReliefMassage increases blood circulation, relieves stress and relaxes muscles. In consequence, massage therapy helps ease chronic back pain and improve function. According to the results of a randomised controlled trial conducted by the Washington Health Research Institute: “We found that massage helps people with back pain to function even after six months,” said trial leader Daniel C. Cherkin, Ph.D., a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute. “Better function means they are more able to work, take care of themselves, and be active”.
- Reduces Stress
There is something nearly magical about a back massage, it can induce a deep level of calm. It reduces cortisol hormone levels, which rise when you are under a lot of stress and aids in the reduction of fatigue and distress.
- Improves Circulation
Massage activates the circulatory system, which allows the body to receive more oxygen. Blood pressure drops, relieving swelling in the extremities caused by vascular issues. As the skin is nourished by the blood, if your blood flows more freely in your body, your skin will also appear better.
Massage promotes the re-absorption and outflow of trapped liquids and toxins at the connective tissue level. By applying heat, blood vessels relax, enhancing blood flow, so that toxins are removed more easily and rapidly.
- Reduces Premenstrual Back Pain and Other Symptoms
Because of increased blood circulation, the swelling at the start of a new menstrual cycle reduces significantly after a soothing massage. Furthermore, the rise in serotonin will greatly benefit women who suffer mood swings and aid relaxation.
- Promotes Flexibility
A sedentary life, worries, stress and other environmental factors cause us all muscle tension and pain. A back massage is ideal to relieve these symptoms, as well as prevent muscle contraction and improve our mobility. It is also effective in reducing pain caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis.
- Reduces Anxiety and Depression
It has been proven that people feel better after a back massage, from the inside out. This type of treatment stimulates the secretion of serotonin, the ‘feel good’ hormone that keeps our moods in balance.
“When moderate and light pressure massage has been compared in laboratory studies, moderate pressure massage reduced depression, anxiety and heart rate, and it altered EEG (a test that measures brain electrical activity) patterns in the brain, as in a relaxation response. Moderate pressure massage has also led to increased vagal activity and decreased cortisol levels.” Tiffany Field from the Touch Research Institute, University of Miami Medical School.
Which treatments are particularly recommended?
4-5 treatments and maintain it with regular follow-up sessions. Also, Therapeutic Massage stimulates the body to release endorphins (our natural pain-killing substances), stimulates oxytocin and serotonin production (the ‘feel good’ hormones) and decreases cortisol levels (the stress hormone).
So don’t hesitate! Experience the benefits of massage for yourself and return home pain-free and happy!