April 5th, 2012
This month we’re highlighting low back pain (LBP) – one of the most common musculoskeletal problems in modern society. Seventy to eighty five percent of the population will experience LBP at some time in their lives.

Back pain can interfere with work, routine daily activities and recreation.  Most acute back pain is mechanical in nature – the result of trauma to the lower back. Symptoms may range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility and/or range of motion, or an inability to stand straight. 

Occasionally, pain felt in one part of the body may “radiate” from a disorder, misalignment or injury elsewhere in the body. A full postural assessment can help determine if posture imbalance is the cause. The way we use our bodies through physical demand, repetitive motion and even lack of motion can cause our posture to become unbalanced. This deviation from our functional design causes musculoskeletal compensation and pain.

Ice and heat (cold and hot compresses) may help reduce pain and inflammation and allow greater mobility for some individuals. As soon as possible following trauma, apply a cold pack or a cold compress (such as a bag of ice or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel) to the tender spot several times a day for up to 20 minutes.  After 2 to 3 days of cold treatment, you should then apply heat (such as a hot pad) for brief periods to relax muscles and increase blood flow.  Warm baths may also help relax muscles.  

Massage therapy has been found to be especially effective for individuals with  low back pain.

back massage

Clinical research has shown that massage therapy has benefits for many serious medical conditions. Massage therapy alleviates pain and aids in the healing process. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine supports massage therapy  as producing better results for low back pain than other therapies, including acupuncture and spinal modification. 

Massage for low back pain was more likely to work when combined with exercise and education. 

Thirteen randomized trials (1596 participants) assessing various types of massage therapy for low-back pain were included in a review. 

In summary, massage is beneficial for individuals with sub-acute (lasting 4 to 12 weeks) and chronic (lasting longer than 12 weeks) non-specific low-back pain, especially when combined with exercises and education. (Furlan AD, Imamura M, Dryden T, Irvin E. Massage for low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews 2008, Issue 4. Art. No.:CD001929.DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD001929.pub2).

The best thing you can do for your pain is to talk with us about your specific needs and goals.  Our staff of extensively trained and experienced professionals will assist you to reach your goals in our nurturing stress free environment.

Resource: AMTA (American Massage Therapy Association)

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 5th, 2012 at 8:57 pm and is filed under Fitness Program, health news, Massage Therapy, Wellness. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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