Back pain is one of the most common ailments among Americans.
It is estimated that nearly 85 percent of our population experiences back pain some time in their lives. It is also the most frequent cause of limited activity in people under the age of 45. Those that prefer not to use standard medical treatments, such as pharmaceuticals, find that massage therapy is the best treatment for this painful condition. Massage modalities that are effective treatments for back pain include deep tissue massage, neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, and structural integration.
Deep Tissue Massage
This modality is very effective for contracted muscle groups. The treatment includes slow and deep movements that concentrate on the areas of pain. Adhesions are broken up, circulation is increased, and stiff and sore muscles are released.
This therapy, also known as trigger point therapy, addresses tight muscle with restricted blood flow, myofascial trigger points that cause referred pain, and nerve entrapment. The massage therapist applies varying pressure with fingers, knuckles, or the elbow to eliminate chronic pain, increase blood flow, and increase range of motion.
This is an effective technique using gentle sustained pressure to remove soft tissue restrictions, help eliminate pain, and restore function. The massage therapist assists the client with body mechanics, movement, and postural awareness.
This type of bodywork focuses on the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, blood vessels, organs and nerves. When fascia becomes bunched and tightened, it tends to pull our muscles and bones out of alignment, causing pain and fatigue. Structural integration is used to lengthen and soften tissue, align the body in gravity, and restore functional ease.
Each of these modalities is effective for treatment of chronic and acute back pain, and they are often combined in a session as part of an integrative massage.
Note: The ABMP is a great resource for locating a massage therapist that has achieved proper certification and/or licensing requirements and follows a code of ethics.