How Massage Can Help Ease Lower Back Pain

May 14, 2021

Lower back pain is something that can affect people of all ages, and is one of the most common complaints at the doctor’s office.

However, just because lower back pain is common doesn’t mean it should be tolerated on a daily basis. There are many treatment options available to relieve back pain, but the most effective option is with massage.

Massage for lower back pain can provide significant relief for tired, painful, compressed muscles. With targeted massage therapy, lower back pain can be controlled and eased for long-term recovery.

What are the causes of lower back pain?

While modern lifestyle factors such as sitting down for extended periods of time can contribute to lower back pain, the most common cause is a torn muscle or ligament.

If your lower back pain is chronic, then it’s most likely you have strained a muscle or ligament from repetitive overuse.

Common causes of lower back strain include:

  • Lifting or pushing heavy objects with incorrect form
  • Twisting the body/spine while bearing weight
  • Sudden impact on the lower back (e.g. from falling)
  • Poor posture when sitting or standing
  • Sports injuries (especially in sports that are high impact)

In some cases, back pain can alleviate once the trigger is stopped or rectified. However, if muscles or ligaments have strained or torn, the acute pain can reoccur and keep you from living a happy and active life.

If pain continues after 3 months, this can indicate problems in your lumbar disk, joint, or nerve root.

The symptoms of lower back pain

Lower back pain is often indicated by these common symptoms:

  • Dull, aching pain: This can also be accompanied by muscle spasms in the lower back area including the base of the spine, the pelvis, and hips.
  • A shooting pain from the buttocks down the leg: Sciatica can present in a sharp, shooting, tingling or numb pain that radiates from the buttocks or hip down to the legs and feet.
  • Pain after sitting: Sitting for prolonged periods puts pressure on the disks, causing symptoms to worsen when seated.
  • Pain that is worse upon waking up: Many people report lower back pain that is worse when waking up, but often find it subsides after moving around or when changing positions.

How does massage help lower back pain?

Since most lower back pain is caused by stressed or strained muscles, it makes sense that any treatment that helps to boost circulation and loosen ligaments can help to reduce and even eradicate pain.

Massage can help lower back pain by improving blood circulation. When blood circulation is improved, muscles and ligaments are receiving a healthy supply of oxygen and nutrients. This leads to relaxed muscles, greater mobility, and reduced pain.

Massage can manage lower back pain in a number of ways. From physical and mental relaxation to pain prevention & management; massage is a holistic approach to relieving lower back pain and improving quality of life.

Lower back massage uses different techniques to target painful trigger points and reduce tension in the muscles. These methods and modalities can include both trigger point massage and relaxation massage, depending on the cause and severity of the pain.

The best massage for lower back pain

A long-term approach is needed when treating lower back pain with massage, especially when dealing with chronic cases.

The most effective massage techniques for lower back pain includes sports massage, remedial massage and deep tissue massage.

If back pain is injury-related, then deep tissue massage can help treat the injury that caused the pain and also address any other factors such as muscle imbalance or weakness.

Your massage therapist will be able to assess your muscular tissue and apply the appropriate massage technique or combination of techniques that will give you the most effective pain management and reduction.

A qualified massage therapist will know how to give a good massage for lower back pain that will target the pain at the source. They can also help to guide you on recovery and management techniques that you can carry with you in your daily life. This can include anything from proper form and technique when carrying or lifting heavy weight, to self-massage techniques to use at home, and correct posture when sitting and standing.

What are you waiting for?

Regular massage therapy sessions can be part of your lower back pain management strategy. By going to a qualified massage therapist, such as one who carries qualifications from Discover Massage Australia, you will get the correct care and techniques to alleviate your chronic lower back pain. Your therapist will look at the cause of the pain and factor in muscle imbalances or lifestyle issues that may contribute to recurrent pain and will then draw up a long-term injury management plan to ensure you can go back to living your life pain-free.

Cameron Aubrey

Cameron Aubrey has over 20 years experience in the massage industry, and leads the team as Course Director at Discover Massage Australia. Cameron holds a Diploma in Remedial Massage, and his expertise runs across a large range of massage techniques, particularly sports, Swedish and whole body massage.