How can massage help with chronic back pain?

Of all the muscles in your body, your back endures the most strain and physical stress, so it'ss no surprise that nearly 16 million American adults experience chronic back pain. However, there's good news! Studies have shown that massage can relieve those suffering from lower back pain more than regular care, even trumping physical therapy and acupuncture in the short term.

Massage therapy has been shown to improve the symptoms, range of motion, and functionality of people experiencing chronic back pain. While massage should never be a substitute for conventional care, it can be a great option in addition to pain relievers and physical therapy.

There are a few reasons it works so well:

  • Increased blood flow: Massage is a great way to promote healing in your muscles, as it improves local circulation. This allows damaged muscle fibres to regenerate quicker as their supply of oxygen and nutrients increases, alleviating pain.
  • Improved posture: Improper posture is one of the leading causes of chronic back pain. Prompted by a muscular imbalance in the core and back, poor posture can be remedied by massage as it helps to relax tight muscles, promoting balance and muscle stability.
  • Increased serotonin levels: Psychological stressors such as stress, anxiety, burnout, and depression can strain the physical body, resulting in excess muscle tension. The worst victim of psychological stress? You guessed it - Your back muscles. Massage therapy boosts your serotonin levels, reducing psychological stress. This, in turn, allows your muscles to relax more fully, releasing tension and relieving pain, and allowing you to (finally!) get a good night's sleep.
  • Increased dopamine: Dopamine, one of the two "happy hormones", is vital in dictating how your body perceives chronic pain. The release of this neurotransmitter during massage can make you feel happier and decrease perceived pain, giving you some much-needed relief.
  • Better range of motion: Massage lengthens the muscles, opens and lubricates the joints, and decreases swelling in the body. This, in turn, increases and maintains flexibility and range of motion. In fact, a study published by the International Journal of Neuroscience found that subjects receiving massage therapy to help treat chronic lower back pain reported improved mobility in the upper body.

See firsthand how massage therapy can help you!

Back pain, tension, and stiffness can significantly affect your quality of life. That's why Bigtoe makes getting a massage more accessible than ever. Book your next massage with Bigtoe to skip the traffic - we will have one of our licensed professional massage therapists come to you.

Let's begin!