Lower back pain is an ailment that most of us are all too familiar with. Whether you are suffering from a dull ache from sitting too long at work on that rusty old chair, or a sharp painful flare-up you woke up with, there is no doubt lower back pain significantly impacts our daily lives and hinders productivity. Lower back pain varies by person, case by case, and affects every age, without discrimination. Understanding some of its causes, symptoms, and treatment options like massage is imperative for managing and alleviating this issue.


What causes Lower Back Pain?


Lower back pain can stem from a plethora of factors, including:
Acute Trauma: Sports injuries, disc herniations, slip-and-falls, and motor accidents can damage the structures of your lower back.
Muscle Strain: Overexertion of the muscles, lifting too heavy objects suddenly, and with unfamiliar movements can lead to strain or a sprain in the tissues.
Repetitive use: Prolonged postural issues, sitting or standing in improper positions can strain the muscles and the ligaments of the body
Irregular conditions in the body: Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, or rarely, ankylosing spondylitis can cause persisting lower back pain.


How can Massage Therapy help with Lower Back Pain?


Using manual techniques and different modalities, massage therapy can be beneficial in healing lower back pain by relieving acute or chronic pain symptoms, stimulating blood circulation to the injured area for improved healing, improving the joint’s range of motion to reduce stiffness, and reducing stress.


What should be avoided with lower back pain?


While not all instances of lower back pain can be avoided, minimizing the movements and weight load that caused the initial pain will help reduce the risk of recurrence. For example, if bending your hips forward to lift a heavy box exacerbates your lower back pain, reducing the load and changing your lifting habits will offset the load on your lower back. When receiving a massage, ask your massage therapist to apply gentle but gradual pressure to prevent worsening your lower back pain. Depending on the severity of lower back pain cases, practicing better posture, and introducing new movements, complemented with adequate breaks can all help greatly in the healing process.


How long does it take to recover from lower back pain?


The road to recovery varies and can be an arduous and long process for some. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to recovery time. It varies from person to person depending on the cause and severity of the pain, your overall health, and how well your body responds to massage or other manual treatment. Patience will be key to the path of successful recovery.

Dealing with lower back pain can be a challenging journey, but it’s one that many of us can navigate with patience, perseverance, and the right approach. Consulting your local MD, or health care practitioner, such as an RMT, for assessments and tailored treatment plans will be a great first step to getting back into pain-free living. So while your neighbor might bounce back in a few weeks, it could take you a bit longer and that’s absolutely okay.


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