Low back pain sufferers, including amputees and prosthetic users, typically expect the soreness to linger for weeks or even months. But you can manage flare-ups with a massage besides getting physical therapy, taking pain relievers, and getting regular exercise.
Massage therapy can effectively reduce back pain when added to your pain management arsenal. However, you will most likely pay the massage therapy cost, and it’s still unclear what type of massage is best for low back pain.
The right massage therapy for you
Finding the suitable type of massage for you presents some challenges. The first is that practitioners vary in their level of training and experience. Second is the many massage variations available.
Swedish massage, characterized by long, gliding strokes and kneading of the major muscle groups, is the most common type of massage offered by most massage therapists. It is primarily geared toward relaxation.
Other massage techniques include neuromuscular, Thai, pressure-point, and deep-tissue massage.
What works for pain relief?
Some studies show people find more relief with a massage than usual care options like physical therapy or at-home self-help, such as rest, cold and hot pads, and acupuncture.
However, these studies are usually small in scope, so it’s difficult to say what type of massage is best for low back pain and the optimal frequency of treatment.
How to get the best results
Make the most out of your massage therapy with the following tips:
Check with your doctor first if you can go ahead and get a massage.
Ask the massage therapist or your physical therapist for advice about how you sit, walk, or work that might contribute to your pain.
Find out if a medical center near you has an integrative or alternative medicine program, typically offering massage therapy by qualified practitioners.
Talk to people you trust to get a recommendation for a massage therapist. Excellent therapists get good results and generate positive referrals.