Is Massage Therapy an Appropriate Modality for Back Pain?
- Posted on: Sep 15 2018
Chronic back pain can be quite concerning. Statistics continually portray back and neck pain as common reasons for missed work and diminished quality of life. However, as frustrating as back pain can be, a vast majority of patients who want to improve comfort and mobility prefer to explore non-surgical treatment options. Massage is one of them. Here, we discuss what massage therapy has to offer patients suffering from chronic back pain to help you better understand the value of a comprehensive medical evaluation with a spine specialist such as Princeton area Neurosurgeon Dr. Lipani.
Massage for Back Pain
Massage therapy offers several significant benefits, and it may be appropriate for particular kinds of back pain. For example, if your last weekend-warrior project around the house resulted in a sore back, a deep tissue massage may be ideal. However, back pain that is resultant from a spinal tumor, herniated disc, or vertebral fracture is not likely to improve when massage is the only therapy obtained. In fact, there is a chance that treating undiagnosed back pain with massage could exacerbate the original problem.
How Massage Helps Back Pain
In instances where muscle soreness relates to inflammation, massage has three unique advantages:
- Massage alleviates muscle tension. Too much tension in the back and neck muscles can restrict mobility and comfort. Tension is a common problem that affects the low back and cervical spine (neck). When no other symptoms, such as tingling and numbness, are present, massage may promote relaxation in key muscle groups that are responsible for pain and tightness.
- Massage increases blood flow. When tissues have been injured, their recovery is dependent on blood flow. Studies indicate that massage therapy is an excellent way to improve blood flow regardless of a person’s usual level of physical activity. Therefore, massage can decrease soreness caused by a minor injury.
- Massage releases endorphins. One of the wonderful effects of massage is the release of endorphins. These brain chemicals alter our perception of pain and also provide a nice mood-boost. After a gentle massage, it is possible to feel more comfortable for a period.
Massage is Valuable, but it’s Only a Piece of the Whole
There is no denying the power of well-performed massage for painful back and neck issues. However, it is crucial to know when additional therapies are needed. Many people put off seeing a back specialist because they assume they will be told they need surgery. In fact, most back problems do not require surgical intervention. The objective of a consultation with a qualified physician is to confirm where you stand in terms of treatment requirements.
Princeton Neurological Surgery offers extensive services for patients with chronic back pain. We proudly serve areas in and around Hamilton, Bridgewater, and Morristown, NJ. Contact an office near you for more information.