Best Types of Massage for Lower Back Pain

It is estimated that nearly 80% of adults in the world suffer from back pain. It could be the lower back or the upper back. Whichever the case, it has become one of the leading problems across man countries around the globe. 

This is due to an increase in passive lifestyles, with more and more people spending time seating in offices, buses, and trains. This is in the absence of regular exercise. 

Long hours on a seated position can cause a lot of compression on the lower spine. And this is always the genesis of lower back pains. You should not think that it is not common that you should have lower back pain because of the many hours you spend seated. Such pains can be the onset of serious chronic issues.

If the pain persists even after the normal stretching, it is serious. And, you should think about eradicating it.

Why Massage for Lower Back Pain?

There are many remedies for relieving pain on the lower back. Massage therapy is one of them. Massage refers to the manipulation of the body’s soft tissues to promote stress relief and relaxation. It also helps in removing pain and promoting an overall sense of wellness. 

Massage can also increase blood flow and the supply of oxygen to muscles. When this happens, the brain produces a hormone known as serotonin – a known relaxation chemical which further aids in the relaxation process. As far as lower back pain goes, here is how certain massage therapies can help to bring some relief:

  • Help in Identifying the Underlying Cause of Pain

Every back pain comes with an underlying cause. It is vital to understand the root cause of the problem for the right mitigation measures. Massage therapists are highly trained physical therapists with the ability to help pinpoint the exact cause of the pain. 

Once this is done, it will then be possible to prescribe the right massage type or appropriate exercise to help eradicate the problem right from the root. Getting back pain massage without knowing the real cause of the pain will just be a temporary solution. It will do nothing but mask the problem.

  • Increase Blood Flow

The working and manipulation of the back muscles through a massage increase the flow of blood to the region, making the muscles to relax. This, in turn, helps to promote healing, relieve stress, and cause relaxation. Additionally, a massage will improve the long term vascular functions of the lower back. This is especially for non-active patients and those who never had adequate physical activities.

  • Decrease Tension

Tension is the lower back that can cause stiffness and restrict movement in that region. When this happens, lower back pain is likely to ensue. But with the use of professional back pain massage, such tension can be released, eliminating pain and also improving the back’s flexibility.

Best Types of Massages for Lower Back

Many are the types of massages available, but not all of them are ideal for lower back pain. If your main reason for getting a massage is to relieve the pain in your lower back, then here is a brief look below for the best types of massage for lower back pain.

  • Shiatsu

Shiatsu massage is one of the best massage ideals for relieving pain in the lower back. According to Japanese healing treatments, the term shiatsu means finger pressure. The diagnostics used in this massage are the same diagnostic methods for treatments such as acupuncture. With such, acupoints and energy channels are targeted to bring relief from pain to the body.

How Shiatsu Massage Works?

In shiatsu, the fingers are used in the manipulation of the flow of energy in the back region. Proponents of traditional Chinese medicine places a lot of emphasis on the flow of qi – vital energy, throughout the body. 

Emphasis is also on the various effects that qi has on human health. According to Oriental Medicine, the body will experience pain when the proper flow qi is hindered. The belief is that qi is responsible for regulating spiritual, physical, mental and emotional balance.

This type of massage uses palms, fingers, elbows, and thumbs to exert pressure in specific parts of the lower back to help improve the circulation of qi through the meridians. It simply means that shiatsu works by helping to open up pathways that might be hindering the free flow of qi. 

According to this school of thought, back pain will be felt if qi pathways are blocked in the lower back region. Shiatsu is fast becoming a mainstream complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of back pains. As such, it is one of the top options you are likely to find in hospitals, spas, and wellness centers.  

  • Swedish Massage

Swedish massage is a common term in the massage world. here are very good chances that you have heard of it before. It is not just a massage for the lower back alone. It is also ideal for anyone looking for deep and complete relaxation and also for releasing pain and tension in cramped muscles. 

The techniques used in Swedish massage are wide and varied. They mainly depend on the masseurs and the extent of the back pain. Some of the common technique used with this massage type include-:

    • Friction – this is the application of deep pressure to a given set of muscles located on the back to compel them to release.
    • Petrissage – this technique involves kneading and rolling of the muscles, just as you usually do when kneading bread dough. The amount of pressure used with this technique will vary depending on the client’s comfort and sensitivity. In the beginning, the petrissage will be light, but the pressure will increase gradually, especially on the crunchy or very tense sections of the lower back.
    • Tapotement – this involves very light and rhythmic drumming actions on the lower back muscles. The amount of pressure, as well as the speed, applied with the drumming or tapping, will vary. How much they vary depends on the patient’s sensitivity to the act.
    • Effleurage – this technique uses long sweeping strokes that start from the muscles located on the upper back and terminates at the muscles located on the lower back. In Swedish massage, this technique can be used at the beginning of the massage or towards the end of the session.

With the effectiveness of Swedish massage, it is a great choice for relieving stress and body pains occasioned by muscle cramping.

  • Gluteus Medius Muscle Massage

The gluteus medius refers to the posterior hip muscle. It is the muscle group responsible for making it possible for one to lift their thighs and legs sideways. It also helps in keeping hips at the same level whenever one is standing on one leg. 

The workings of the hip and the spine are connected. As such, anything troubling the hip muscles is a potential cause for pain in the lower back. There are quite several reasons why gluteus medius may experience pain. Some of the common causes of the weakness or imbalance on this muscle group include-:

    • Trauma from hitting or accidents
    • A sudden and strenuous physical activity
    • Excessive exercises involving hip abduction
    • Previous injuries to the muscle
    • Repetitive trauma to the muscle occasioned by running on hard surfaces

The gluteus medius muscle massage, therefore, is a highly specialized form of massage that can only be offered after a correct diagnosis by professional massage therapy. Any problem in this muscle will mainly affect the buttocks and the lower back. 

This pain may also be felt on the back of the thighs. In some cases, it may be accompanied by stiffness and fatigue, hindering the free movement of the lower lack. In extreme cases, walking may become a real challenge for people with this problem. This means that when the pain is relieved, the lower back and the buttocks will also get some relief. 

If you go to professional masseurs, they should know that this muscle can cause lower back pain. Irrespective of the massage they give, they should give attention to this muscle group if you are having trouble with your lower back.

  • Quadratus Lumborum Muscle Massage

The quadratus lumborum muscle runs throughout the entire lower back and it comprises of several layers. As an extensor of the spine, it is responsible for letting the backbend backward and the torso to bend sideways. When the muscle becomes fatigued, stiff, strained, or painful, performing certain daily activities may become a problem.

A problem with this muscle normally manifests as a sharp, stabbing muscle on the lower back. In some cases, you may feel a sense of dullness and sometimes a persisting ache with some stiffness on the lower back. A quadratus lumobrum muscle massage, therefore, is a great way to remove any kind of fatigue, stiffness, or strain that might be present on the muscle and which might make you experience some back pain.

  • Deep Tissue Massage

One of the best types of massage for lower back pain is deep tissue massage. This is a very popular massage type. Unlike what the majority thinks, this type of massage is not for everyone. With this massage, the therapist will dig deeper into the tissues of the sore muscles, getting as close at is possible can to the bones. 

This action usually leads to the relieving of pain and muscles in deeply knotted muscles that are responsible for causing chronic pain in the neck and the back regions.

While getting this massage type, it is vital that you speak during the sessions. This is not like a deeply relaxing massage such as the Swedish massage. During the sessions, you should never try to withstand a lot of pain, though it may be tempting to urge the massage therapist to continue going deeper. 

With a qualified therapist, they will know how to vary the pressure to your satisfaction levels. Typical sessions will start lightly before gently progressing deeper.

This is a highly suitable massage type if you have back pain that has persisted for a while due to the buildup of stiffness, and pain. Once the massage is over, you may feel some soreness for a few days, but taking a warm bath will help to relieve the soreness on your way to recovery.

  • Trigger Point Myotherapy

Trigger point myotherapy is nearly similar to deep tissue massage since it also goes deeper into the tissue muscles. The objective of this massage is to identify and release very tight pressure points within given muscle tissue, also known as the trigger point. 

Trigger points refer to tight areas within a muscle group that may cause pain within a given part of the body. For example, a trigger point in the back is likely to cause back pain, while a trigger point in the neck is likely to cause neck pain.

With trigger point, massage, not the entire body or the length of the muscle has to be worked out. The focus is always on releasing pressure at a certain point to remove the pain. 

This is normally by adding deep pressure on the trigger point and then releasing it. This is done multiple times until the trigger point finally releases. This type of massage is highly recommended if you are feeling chronic muscle pain and tension in the back region.

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Getting a Quality Massage for Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain can be a pointer to serious health issues with the spine. It should never be ignored. The moment you feel any slight pain on the back is the moment you should seek medical assistance. If you suspect that the pain is being caused by a sedentary lifestyle, like sitting for long hours without exercise, then you should try making some adjustments. 

And, when working with the masseurs or massage therapists for the best types of massage for lower back pain, always ensure that you work with real professionals. Your back is too precious to be entrusted with quack masseurs.