Lower back pain is an all-too-common complaint from so many adults. Regardless of whether it’s caused by stress, sitting at a desk job all day, or general misalignment, lower back pain can affect every part of your life. It can prevent you from doing even day-to-day tasks, like cleaning up around the house, let alone more physical activities like sports or exercise. While many people use pain pills to relieve their back pain, massage therapy is a far healthier and more effective solution.
How to Relieve Lower Back Pain with Massage Therapy
Massage therapy, over time, can help relieve your back pain and prevent it from coming back. While the best thing you could do is see a licensed massage therapist, there are some massage therapy techniques that you can have a loved one try in the meantime until you’re able to have a professional work on your pain. As with any at-home massage therapy or stretching techniques, make sure you are being gentle with your back—you don’t want to accidentally do more harm than good.
The Best Lower Back Massage Therapy Techniques
For an aching lower back, have a loved one try the following techniques:
- Start with clean hands. Use lotion or a natural oil if massaging the bare skin.
- Start out very slowly and gently to get the blood flowing and to prevent any injury. Don’t use too much pressure and make sure you communicate your level of comfort to your loved one.
- Once the muscles are warmed up, use gentle circular kneading on either side of the spine and around the sacrum (hip).
- Next, use gentle kneading and compression on top of the gluteus muscles.
- Repeat these two main techniques to target the lower back pain, always being careful not to use too much pressure.
Stretches to Complement Massage Therapy
While at-home massage therapy can be relaxing and help temporarily, you will want to see a professional massage therapist to find out what exactly is causing your lower back pain so that you can work together to relieve your pain. Once you get into a regular massage routine, your massage therapist might recommend some exercises at home to complement your massages, such as the following stretches:
- Flat back: Use a couch to help you with this stretch. Lie flat on your back with your legs resting on the couch at a 90 degree angle. Your hips and your knees should both be at 90 degrees. Make sure that your lower back is pressed into the ground so that your entire back is touching the floor. Stay in this position for as long as you like. While it may not feel like a stretch, it will relieve a lot of the pressure in your lower back.
- Glute stretches: There are various glute stretches that can help your lower back pain. For an easy one, start out lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Cross one leg over the other so that your ankle is resting just above your knee. Reach behind and grab hold of the back of your thigh and gently pull your leg toward you. This is sometimes referred to as “thread the needle.”
- Gentle Twist: Lying on your back, pull both knees into your chest. Bring your arms out to a “T” and, exhaling, lower your knees to one side. Repeat on the other side.
These are just a few examples of stretches that, when done gently and regularly, can help complement regular massage therapy.
Massage Therapy in Plano
Before trying any exercises at home, be sure you consult with your doctor to confirm that your body is healthy enough for any particular stretches or massage therapy. You can also consult with a professional massage therapist or chiropractor in Plano to find out how you can create a comprehensive plan to get rid of your lower back pain and to get your body back on its way to health and wellness.