Back pain. Just the thought of it can send chills down your spine. Millions of people suffer from back pain every day, and it can be debilitating — leading to sleep disruption, inability to work, and an overall decreased quality of life.
The doctors at the Southeastern Spine Institute believe in integrated back pain treatments. They work with you to find a solution that’s as non-invasive as possible. The best treatment helps you return quickly to your active, pain-free life.
The most conservative treatment is often the best place to start. So, whether you’re recovering from back surgery or dealing with chronic or occasional back pain, massage therapy might help you feel better faster.
Benefits of Working with a Massage Therapist
Massage therapy is more than just the kind of back rub you might get from a friend or spouse. Trained massage therapists learn a variety of techniques, and all are geared toward healing and relaxation. From deep tissue pressure to a gentle touch, the right massage therapy can help:
- Decrease your pain
- Relax and loosen any tight muscles
- Increase the blood flow to areas that are healing
- Reduce or eliminate any painful muscle spasms
- Improve your overall relaxation, leading to better sleep
- Increase endorphins, helping you feel happier and more at ease
- Improve the condition of your skin after surgery
Finding the Right Therapist
You’ll be spending a lot of time with the massage therapist you choose, so trust is important. If you aren’t comfortable with your therapist, it’ll be difficult to receive the relaxing, healing benefits. Consider these tips for finding one who’s right for you:
- Talk to friends and family. These are the people who really know you, the person behind the back pain. Ask them about their experience with massage therapists, even if they didn’t go specifically for back pain. If they have a massage therapist they know and trust, that therapist may be a good match or a referral source to someone who can help you.
- Take advantage of your doctor’s waiting room. If you strike up a conversation with a fellow patient and feel comfortable asking, check in with them for recommendations — especially if you’re chatting with someone with similar back problems to your own.
- Ask your doctor. Before you start massage therapy for back pain, especially after surgery, talk to your doctor about when it’s safe to start. Ask about any suggested precautions to consider. While you’re there, ask for a recommendation for a massage therapist who can reduce your back pain or speed your recovery.
- Do your research. This isn’t the time to pick a name out of an Internet search and hope for the best. Look for a qualified massage therapist who’s graduated from a massage program that’s been accredited by the National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork or the Commission on Massage Training Accreditation. Make sure they’re fully licensed by the state. Ask about their guiding professional standards and the experience they have treating back pain.
- Meet before the massage. Schedule an appointment to meet the therapist before your first massage. During this meeting, you can question the therapist’s experience and approach. Your therapist should ask about your goals. Having a simple chat ahead of time can establish trust and help you feel as comfortable as possible as you try massage therapy for back pain.