If done correctly, massage therapy can work wonders for people with back pain. It may not always be the best choice, and it may not work for everyone. But most people will get great results if the massage therapist has a good understanding of the human body, muscle imbalances, and how to work with them
Most massage therapists use a variety of techniques during a session, such as energy techniques and stretching, along with traditional massage. The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami has coordinated more than 100 studies that document the therapeutic effects of massage. One study on massage and back pain found that massage decreased back pain and depression while also improving sleep and range of motion for most joints.
How does massage therapy provide relief?
You probably have heard that massage improves circulation, right? But exactly what does that mean? Well, throughout our bodies we have a clear fluid that circulates around the body tissues called “lymph.” At the same time, we may have inflammation, which is an immune response to injury or infection that causes pain, redness, heat and swelling in the affected area—in our muscles, around our muscles, even in our joints. When lymph and inflammation start to accumulate in the body, the excess fluid will put pressure on blood vessels and our circulation will decrease, limiting blood flow to that area. As the pressure increases, it irritates the nerves, which will cause you to have pain. By helping the body remove excess lymph and inflammation, massage therapy can make your blood flow better, which will reduce the pressure that is irritating the nerves and get rid of your pain.
And as if that were not enough, massage provides a number of other benefits: relaxing the muscles, improved range of motion, improved sleep and increased production of endorphins, which will improve your mood. Is it any wonder you feel like a million bucks after a massage?