Massage is a non-invasive way to treat both acute and chronic back pain. Not only does massage relax the muscles and allow for more blood flow to the area which aids in healing, it also releases endorphins which help lessen the sensation of pain.
When back pain results from physical activity or soft tissue injury, massage will help increase blood flow to the area which will reduce muscle soreness. Massage also reduces tension in the muscles themselves which will improve flexibility. Often a lack of flexibility will cause pain with movement. The American Academy of Pain Management recognizes neuromuscular massage as an effective treatment for back pain caused by soft tissue injury.
For people with chronic back pain, the release of the chemical neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin eases anxiety along with reducing pain. This is especially helpful for people with chronic back pain who need movement to keep the muscles pliable and active.
While it might be easy to reach for a muscle relaxant if the muscles in your back are tight and causing pain, these drugs have side effects like sleepiness, dizziness or inability to focus. They’re not recommended if you need to drive, and you may find it difficult to participate in everyday activities while taking them. Neuromuscular massage offers an alternative to muscle relaxant drugs.
One added benefit of relieving back pain is better sleep. Patients with chronic back pain often report that they rest more comfortably and wake up fewer times during the night after having a massage to treat their back pain.