Will Massage Help Back Pain? - Alba Physiotherapy
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Will Massage Help Back Pain?

Back Massage

Back pain is one of the most common conditions we see in the clinic. It can interfere with many ordinary activities, and people routinely use pain medication, hydrotherapy, exercise, Pilates and heat packs for relief. Massage is another option. Most people report that massage brings relief, and some doctors still recommend this to back pain patients. Here at the clinic we don't want you to have to rely on pills, we want you to take control of you problem and we can assist you in many ways. Massage is just one of those skills.

Types of Massage

There are many styles of massage therapy, and they are often called modalities. Within each style of massage there are also many different techniques that can be used.

These different styles of massage include Shiatsu, Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular Therapy, Myofascial release, Sports massage, Cranial-Sacral Therapy, Rolfing, Swedish, Tui Na, Reflexology and others. Each one of these modalities attempts to address the pain at its root, but they do not all have the same effect on every person.

One kind of back pain might be caused by a nerve entrapped by tense muscles near the spine. Another could be a symptom of fibromyalgia, which is primarily a soft tissue and neurological disorder. For pain caused by a nerve entrapment, deep tissue massage like Shiatsu, Rolfing or Neuromuscular Therapy are effective at reducing pain and restoring the natural range of motion. However, the back pain from fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis or whiplash responds best to a gentle, soft-touch massage, so Cranial-Sacral and myofascial release will most likely work best.

Back pain is not a completely physical problem, so it may need to be addressed on multiple levels. Bad movement and breathing habits may contribute to the severity and frequency of the back pain, so make sure to address them as well. Combinations of events create back pain, so it makes sense that a combination of activities will be effective in interrupting the cycle of pain.

Physiotherapists may use one or more of these modalities to give a back pain massage, but each therapist also has a specific level of skill. Some therapists have many years of experience, excellent training and multiple certifications.

There are many ways to reduce back pain with massage, and you’ll find that experienced physiotherapists will also teach exercises designed to prevent the back pain from returning.

Feel free to contact the clinic to find out if we can help you.

Brid Walsh

Brid Walsh

Brid qualified in 2004 with a BSC Honours Degree in Sports and Exercise Science from the University of Limerick, Ireland. In evaluating her future path, she spent a summer in Alaska with the Hope Foundation supporting disabilities of various sorts. Her further work experience in the Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin convinced her that Physiotherapy was the direction she wished to specialise in. In 2007 she subsequently qualified from the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen with an MSC in Physiotherapy.
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