A good massage therapist can relieve low back pain by identifying the cause of the low back pain, identifying which muscles or structures may be contributing to the low back pain based on the cause, and then working to eliminate or reduce any negative elements that may be contributing to the pain. With this method the registered massage therapist is able to get to the root cause of the low back pain in order to have a greater chance of getting you long lasting relief.
The first step to helping relieve your low back pain is to identify the cause of it. There are many reasons that your low back may have pain - some examples include: Herniation, spinal stenosis, lumbar instability, postural imbalance, overuse injuries, scoliosis, trigger point referral, and a wide assortment of other issues. Each cause of low back pain has to be dealt with in it's own way. The first thing a massage therapist will do is talk with you to try and determine what potential causes of low back pain may be contributing to yours.
This is the part most people think of when they think of massage therapy. Once your therapist has created a list of potential causes of your low back discomfort from the subjective interview they will begin examining the area itself. While a massage therapist works they can feel subtle differences in muscle tone and pull from the various muscles in the region which help confirm the muscles contributing to the back pain. Once the massage therapist is confident in the cause of the low back pain, they will begin to work towards fixing the issue. This will include manual massage techniques to a number of muscles in the area alongside stretches to help decrease chance of the muscles just immediately tightening up again once you're off the table. Manual massage therapy helps in the short-medium term and you may (and in most cases will) feel relief as soon as you get off of the table. I always like to compare the relief you get from a massage as pressing the reset button on the muscles. For a time the muscles will be relaxed and balanced resulting in much less low back pain - if any at all. However if you were to just go back to your every day routine (the routine that caused the low back pain in the first place) you will find that low back pain slowly creeps in again. This is because (again, dependant on the cause) the habits and conditions that created the low back pain in the first place are still present in your day-day life. This brings me to the next section.
A good massage therapist will give you a series of stretches and exercises after your appointment that you can do to help reduce the chance that your low back pain recurs. These will not work instantly. It takes time for muscles to develop and your body to get used to new (proper) alignments that comes from stronger muscles or paying attention to posture. In mose cases people will see vast improvments in their pain levels after around 6 weeks of consistantly doing their homecare. After that you should still do it weekly or every 2 weeks just for upkeep to ensure that they do not regress back to pre-homecare levels. No manual therapy (chiropractic, physiotherapy, or massage therapy) will last long term if the conditions that caused the pain in the first place are not addressed via homecare so I can not stress enough how important it is to follow up on.
Life has a way of getting busy and homecare falling to the wayside once the low back pain is not bothering you every day anymore because of the excellent massage you just had and homecare which you followed through on, but then stopped doing once the pain went away. It is recommended to book a massage on a semi-regular basis to stay out ahead of the pain once it is gone rather than just waiting for it to come back again. Your therapist will discuss with you what schedule/ how often you should be coming back in for optimal results. In most cases for just maintenance purposes this is usually about once a month, but it may be different dependant on the contributing causes of your low back pain.
I hope this page has helped you understand how massage therapy can help with low back pain. If you are in the Moncton, NB area and would like me to help you with massage therapy for your low back pain feel free to click here to book an appointment. If you have any other questions about massage therapy, low back pain, or any other topics feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (506)-871-5144.