Did you know that approximately 80 percent of Americans will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives? If you’ve ever had an achy back, you know just how terrible back pain can be. This condition can be as mild as a little stiffness in your lower back to being unable to straighten your spine. Back pain can be a minor inconvenience at best or it can interfere with daily life and negatively impact your quality of life at worst.
The medical field is catching on to what holistic health practitioners and many people with chronic back pain have known for a long time. There are more effective ways to treat back pain than with drugs. The American College of Physicians recently released new guidelines advising against drugs as the first step in treating back pain.
Back pain has traditionally been treated with over-the-counter or prescription painkillers, depending on the severity. In cases of severe or chronic back pain, doctors sometimes also recommend physical therapy. The American College of Physicians now recommends massage therapy, acupuncture, heat and spinal manipulation. Yoga, stretching and exercise are also effective in managing and reducing back pain.
There are several ways that massage therapy can ease back pain. One is by relaxing the muscles and ligaments that have tightened up to protect the site of injury. Easing those muscles allows the client to regain some range of motion, which in turn allows him to perform stretches and exercises to assist in healing his back. Furthermore, massage therapy targets not only the muscles directly at the pain site, but also other muscles that are connected to but not immediately surrounding that area of pain.
Remember the fascia? Knots and kinks in your fascia near your back can cause extreme discomfort. Massage therapy smoothes the wrinkles layer by layer, until your back is again free of pain.
Finally, massage therapy is relaxing. Sometimes simply managing to let go of physical and psychological tension can have a huge effect on lessening your pain.
Knowing how to treat pain once it occurs is important. However, it is also essential to know how to prevent that pain from happening in the first place. The same methods recommended for pain treatment can also help to prevent back pain for many sufferers. Even people who suffer from chronic back pain conditions can benefit from massage therapy and other non-drug treatments. These methods may not only reduce the frequency of pain, but may also reduce the severity.
Whether you suffer from chronic back pain or the occasional sore lower back, proper back care is essential. That includes taking steps to prevent pain as well as knowing hot to manage the pain when it does occur. Massage therapy can play a role in keeping your back healthy.