woman with back pain having massage therapy

Back Pain

What Causes Back Pain?

Pain in your back can be caused by many factors, one of which is muscle tension. Tense muscles pull on the attachment of tendons and cause pain and inflammation. It can pull the vertebrae out of proper alignment, causing pain and pressure on nerves.  According to RMT Mark Lee “One of the first things I look at are the patients hip flexors.  Normally, people know how to stretch their backs and it isn’t helping so they come in.  A tight hip flexor muscle pulls down on the discs of the spine causing light compression on the discs leading to pain. The quadratus lumborum (a deep back core muscle) and the glutes can also be frequent culprits that cause back pain.”

How Can Massage Therapy Help?

Massage can help relieve back problems through its tension-busting effects. Coupled with chiropractic care and acupuncture, you can effectively relieve your low back pain without medications. Massage therapy is such an effective pain reliever, in fact, that in West Virginia it is the law that healthcare providers must refer patients for alternative therapies like massage therapy, chiropractic and acupuncture for pain before prescribing opioid medications.

What Does the Research Say About Massage Therapy for Back Pain?

  • Existing research provides fairly robust support for the analgesic effects of massage for non-specific low back pain

Pain and Massage Therapy Research

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2007 Jun; 4(2): 165–179.
Published online 2007 Feb 5. doi: [10.1093/ecam/nel109] PMCID: PMC1876616 PMID: 17549233
Effectiveness of Massage Therapy for Chronic, Non-malignant Pain: A Review
Jennie C.I. Tsao