Massage and Chronic Back Pain

back massage in chairEighty percent of adults in America will complain of at least one episode of back pain during their lives. Nearly a third of the population, however, suffers from chronic back pain, placing close to 100 million people in pain for long periods of time. Sometimes, the source of this back pain can be difficult to trace, often leaving people in pain with little to no hope for long-term relief.

Major muscle groups and nerves that connect to various parts of your body are located in your spinal area. Stress, strain, and overuse of these other body parts that are connected to the spine can be felt as back pain.

The Promising Treatment of Massage

If you’re seeking a conservative treatment to relieve your back pain, massage is an excellent therapy to try. Scientific studies published in the Journal of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the International Journal of Neuroscience have shown that massage therapy can give patients lasting relief from their spinal pain. In 2011 the Annals of Internal Medicine reported a study involving 400 patients who were suffering from moderate to severe pain in the lower lumbar region of the back. Three groups of patients were assigned to receive either a weekly full-body massage, a weekly massage targeting specific muscle issues, or no massage at all, with instructions to simply continuing their present pain-management techniques. The results, after ten weeks, showed significant improvements in pain relief for those receiving massage therapy. In fact, a third of the patients in each massage group reported either a complete absence of pain or close to feeling pain-free.

Why Massage Can Help With Back Pain

One of the key benefits of massage therapy is that it increases blood flow and circulation. If your pain is stemming from a strained muscle, for instance, better blood circulation can lessen soreness and help heal soft tissue injuries. Living with chronic back pain can bring on feelings of anxiety and depression that may intensify your pain. Massage therapy relieves muscle tension, and your psychological mood improves, too, through the release of endorphins, chemicals in your brain that lift your spirit.

Some causes of back pain are greatly helped with regular massage treatments, though not all pain can be successfully treated in this way. If you are suffering from pain that is caused by spinal stenosis or sciatica, massage may not be the answer to your pain relief. If your main complaint stems from muscle strain, particularly of the lower back, massage treatments are a good conservative treatment. Dr. Solomon Kamson, MD, PhD, at the Spine Institute Northwest, acknowledges the benefits of massage therapy for those who have spinal osteoarthritis, though Dr. Kamson recommends using a massage therapist with special training in this area.

If you are suffering from chronic back pain, find out if you can achieve relief through non-invasive massage therapy. Dr. Kamson will be able to diagnose your condition and recommend the appropriate treatment. He will help you determine whether massage is worth a try or whether it may worsen your pain. Contact the Spine Institute Northwest in Bothell, WA, today at (208) 496-0630 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Sol Kamson.

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