If you are experiencing back pain, chiropractic care may not be enough. Spinal pain can travel to other parts of the body, cause headaches, induce depression and more. Such a serious condition deserves a vigorous treatment plan. That is why we often recommend scheduling a massage in addition to receiving chiropractic care. We do not suggest, however, that you simply head to the nearest masseuse the second you experience back pain. There are some things you need to do first to make sure you are receiving the proper care:
· Visit a Chiropractor.
Masseuses are licensed and trained to give massages, and that’s it. They cannot diagnose the cause of your back pain or give you proper advice on what you need to do to fix the issue. If you have lasting pain, visit a medical professional to make sure that you are not letting a dangerous back or nerve issue go unresolved. You should always rule out any potentially serious conditions.
· Clear your schedule.
Massages are most effective when you are free of stress and muscle tension. Do not go after a stressful event or right before one. You won’t be relaxed if you’re thinking about a big work meeting you need to ace right after your session.
· Be prepared.
Get a full night’s sleep before you head to your appointment. It is important that you are awake and present during your massage. Being an active participant of the process will optimize its effects. You need to make sure you are clear with your masseuse where your problem areas are and that they are hitting them. Also, being aware of what’s going on helps you to truly receive the beneficial effects.
· Inform your masseuse of your reason for visiting.
You should call the facility that you are going to beforehand and make sure they know that you are going there because you are experiencing pain. Also be clear where the pain is and what type of pain it is. It is important that your masseuse can attend to your issues or else there is no point in going.
Is a Massage the Right Decision for my Type of Back Pain?
Your next question is probably “is getting a massage the right move for me?” Odds are, if you have to ask the question, it is. The process of making that decision and then choosing the right place can be a difficult one. We will direct you in choosing the right location and type of massage. To answer your question in the meantime, here are the common back problems that a massage will help with:
· Muscle Strain
o In the Lower Back
o In the Upper Back
o In the Neck
· Osteoarthritis of the Spine
Benefits of Massages
Massages often don’t get the credit they deserve for being a legitimate health aid. Chiropractors and medical professionals nationwide commonly recommend massages, because of their many benefits. Massages have been proven to:
· Boost Immunity
Recent studies have proven that getting massages can increase your white blood cell count. White blood cells are responsible for strengthening your immune system; they are the cells that fight disease. Researchers believe that this occurs because massages reduce stress, and strength weakens our immune system.
· Decrease Muscle Tension
It may seem obvious that a massage will reduce muscle tension, but what that entails is not as evident. Less muscle tension means less pain, increased flexibility, less headaches and better sleep.
· Increase Blood Flow/Circulation
The pressure applied during massages causes blood to flow out of congested areas, allowing new blood to enter. The result is lessened muscle soreness, if that soreness was caused from physical activity or muscle strain.
· Increase Endorphin Levels
Massages promote the release of endorphins, which are the “feel good” chemicals your brain produces. They dampen the effects of depression and anxiety which can in turn reduce pain and quicken recovery for patients suffering from back and neck problems.
· Prevent Injuries
As mentioned above, massages increase circulation. This simultaneously causes a reduction in lactic acid buildup. The more lactic acid you have in your blood, the greater chance you have of suffering from a physical activity induced muscle injury. Basically, if you are a very active person, getting massages regularly could greatly reduce your chance of injury.
· Reduce Inflammation/Pain
The body has proteins known as inflammatory cytokines. These proteins are often released after strenuous activity. They cause inflammation in the muscles, which in turn can cause muscle spasms and make movement painful. Massages reduce the presence of these substances in a way that mimics the effects of a dose of Aspirin or Advil. Overall, you can get the pain relieving effects of these popular pain relievers without ever needing to take a drug.
We understand that not everyone can incorporate massage therapy into their lives. The sessions can be out of the way, time consuming, or expensive. We would still love for you to reap the benefits, so feel free to give these alternatives a try:
· Massage Chairs
· Your own hands
· Massage tools or tennis balls
If you are, however, able to fit massage therapy into your life, visit Health Solutions today. We will help you to diagnose your problem, offer our own treatment, and give you a referral to a nearby massage facility.