FAQ: Can Massage Help My Lower Back Pain?

Whether you have a sudden spasm when getting up out of bed in the morning, or chronic aching from standing on your feet all day, 70-85% of Americans have experienced low back pain at some point.

With so many Americans suffering from low back pain, the CDC’s 2007 study of Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that “the top four reasons adults used CAM therapies were to treat pain including back pain or problems, neck pain or problems, joint pain or stiffness/other joint condition, arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions.”  Massage absolutely can help reduce chronic lower back pain.

In severe cases, it is advisable to seek medical attention and get a doctor's OK to receive therapeutic massage, Once a doctor rules out a disc injury, your massage therapist can help you by working on areas of restriction (like the muscles of your lower back if you are experiencing an exaggerated curve of the lumbar spine), mobilizing the hip joints to increase your range of motion, and working on associated muscles that may be contributing to your pain.

Your massage therapist can also help you by suggesting stretches, postural changes, or other self-care techniques that can help address the ongoing contributing factors of your low back pain.  If you work on your feet all day, for example, you may be experiencing low back pain because your posture starts to fall as the day wears on.  Maybe you start slumping your shoulders forward, or your lower back starts to sway.  Your massage therapist can help you understand what sort of postural inconsistencies you may have, and help you think of ways to address them.

For more information about how massage can help ease lower back pain, you can read this article including research and case studies.