A study recently found massage more effective for reducing back pain than medication and other traditional methods.
According to the research, 40% of subjects who had a weekly massage for 10 weeks reported a significant reduction in their pain, compared to just 4% of subjects receiving usual care.
I’ve been practising sports massage for over 10 years and, where it was a little-used treatment for back pain when I first qualified, it’s now often the first thing people investigate when suffering chronic pain and we’re now getting more enquiries than ever here at the studio.
So, want to know a bit more about it and see what all the hype is? Read on…
Sports massage is a deep-tissue treatment which works by stretching and manipulating the soft tissues of the body to increase circulation, promote relaxation of the structures and break down any adhesions.
How does it work?
The main difference between a sports massage and a regular massage is that it specifically targets and reduces tension in muscles and soft tissues that are affected by pain or injury. Pre-event, light, fast, stroking, vibration and percussion techniques are used to stimulate circulation and relaxation of the muscles. Post-event massage is best done within an hour or two of the event and restores the muscles to normality by similar light, long techniques to relax the muscles and flush out waste products. Rehabilitative massage is aimed at restoring function and alleviating pain through deep stretching, kneading and pressure techniques and trigger point therapy is often used to break down adhesions and aid movement.
What are the benefits?
Reported benefits are:
Reduced tension-both physically and mentally
Reduced recovery time post-event
Increased quality of training
Prevention of injury
Faster rehabilitation after an injury
It’s not just for sports people as, as demonstrated in the study, it can help greatly with back pain as well as relieving sore shoulders and stiff necks. Probably because of today’s lifestyle (and where we’re placed-in the middle of a busy commercial district) we treat more tension and posture related pain than anything else.