Although massage is generally thought of as a complementary
therapy, it is now being acknowledged by healthcare providers
as a genuine method of helping in fighting back pain. It may
be very helpful in the management of chronic back pain, but
there is no proof to suggest it being beneficial to episodes
of acute back pain. There are three techniques of massage
therapy which is available to sufferers.
These techniques are hands-on
technique where another person carries out the therapy, except
for ice massage which can be performed by yourself or the
use of a massage chair.
It has been proven that massage
helps with managing to control pain as it lowers anxiety and
depression which is what encourages the muscles to relax and
helps the body to attain a better sleeping pattern. Blood
circulation is also increased which allows a boost of nutrients
to reach the affected areas (which is particularly helpful
to muscular injuries and strains) and also can help increase
the range of movement of the sufferer.
Massage also stimulates the
making of endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain
killers; they are sometimes referred to as feel good chemicals.
Massage therapy can be anything from a gentle touch to a more
rigorous exercise programme.
Presently, there are no laws
concerning the licensing needs of a massage therapist, so
it can be performed by anyone. Care should be taken to find
recommendations, if possible from a healthcare provider, for
locating a fully trained therapist before any sessions are
A massage received from an
untrained person may result in further damage. A usual session
costs between £30 and £80, with the average period
of treatment being 3 months.
An Ice massage is recommended
to people who suffer from back pain as it is free, fast and
easy to administer. It is particularly good for muscular sprains
and used regularly in the treatment of sports injuries, it
is achieved by placing an ice pack on the area which is affected.
The outcome of the cold stimulus is getting the blood vessels
contracting and lowering circulation, when the ice pack is
removed a swift rush of blood to the area is encountered,
which brings with it a huge amount of nutrients which are
necessary for healing. The cold is also useful for bringing
a reduction in the swelling.
Those suffering with paralysis,
arthritis, Raynaud’s disease and those with altered
sensations should be careful. Do not apply ice straight to
the skin, always make sure there is a cloth between the two
surfaces, and the time for the application should be limited
to a maximum of 15-20 minutes in one session, otherwise there’s
a risk a burn may occur.
Massage chairs offer a way
of receiving massage therapy by the use of an electronic device.
The benefit of a massage chair is that it can be used in the
privacy of the suffers home, it is particularly good when
mobility is an issue, timing of sessions can be timed when
it is suitable to the sufferer and equipment can be kept clean.
These chairs can be very expensive
with some models priced up to £4,000, but cheaper second-hand
alternatives can be found.
When purchasing a massage
chair, make sure you receive a demonstration on the use of
the product and if possible installation too.
Any type of massage therapy
should not be performed on people suffering with skin infections,
rashes, and open wounds, sites of recent fracture, or immediately
following chemotherapy or radiation therapy. You should always
seek medical advice first.
For sufferers of back pain,
massage can be very helpful in controlling pain levels. Each
person will realize whether it works for them or not.