Chronic Low Back Pain

As anyone with chronic low back pain can tell you, it's no walk in the park.  Those who regularly suffer from chronic back pain generally have a hard time moving, completing everyday tasks, and could easily suffer from depression due to this type of pain.  Chronic low back pain can feel like a constant dull ache, tingling or burning sensation, sharp pain, and weakness in your legs & feet.  It can really take a toll on your quality of life.

So what can cause this?  Like I tell all my clients, listen to your body.  What activities or movements cause that pain?  What do you do all day at work?  Do you stand all day?  Sit at a desk all day?  Many cases of chronic low back I've seen are caused from inactivity at work using poor posture such as this:

I use this same picture when describing neck & shoulder pain because poor posture can take it's toll on the entire body.  However, the cause of low back pain isn't so simple (I wish it was).  There can be several factors of why your low back hurts.  You may have symptoms caused by arthritis.  That arthritis may come from over-use from work, sports, injuries, fractures, and surgeries performed in that area.  No arthritis?  You may have a herniated disk in which the spinal disk is compressing into nearby nerves.  A curvature in your spine such as scoliosis or kyphosis may also contribute to your low back woes.

When are you at a greater risk for chronic low back pain?  If you are over 30, overweight, pregnant, jobs requiring heavy lifting & twisting & turning.  Lack of exercise, stressed & depressed, and smoking can also be factors why there is chronic low back pain.  This pain can be mild at times, consistently annoying, or so severe you're unable to move.

Which brings us to the question:  How can massage help you?  Massage has proven to be an effective low back pain treatment.  A recent study was conducted on the efficacy of massage for those suffering low back pain, and massage was found to provide some serious pain relief.  You can read the article and get the study abstract HERE.  Of course I can provide articles about how awesome massage is all day long, but what can it do for you?

When you step into my office, I ask you a lot of questions pertaining to your pain symptoms.  Where is your back pain?  How often do you feel it?  When do you feel the pain most?  The more descriptive you are with me, the better I can help you.  I will have you do some range of movement tests to see what triggers your pain.  Low back pain can come from several areas in the body.  Most common areas for this pain are Illiopsoas, Erectors, Quadratus Lumborum, Gluteus Medius, and even Hamstring muscles.  You can check out an interesting article about some of these muscles HERE.  There may be tightness/weakness in other areas that can cause pain as well.  

On the massage table, we'll initially loosen up contracted muscle with warm towels and relaxation techniques .  I'll conduct some light trigger point work to find where the pain could be coming from (kind of like a treasure hunt), conduct some pinning stretches of tight muscles, and perform some myofascial release.  It can take a whole massage session to find where the source of your low back pain is coming from.  Sometimes the source of this pain comes from soft tissue (which I can really help with!), other times it can be a problem within the spine (which chiropractic can help with).  Maybe the muscles are really weak, and need to be strengthened or stretched (I'd refer to physical therapy).  The pain may come from somewhere else all together.  The body really is a complicated structure!  But at least through our session, I can give you a better idea about your back pain, and how you can help yourself.  I've had great success in helping those trying to get out of chronic low back pain.  If you have tried everything else or looking to see if massage is a good fit for you, make an appointment today and see what massage can do for you.  You can do that HERE.  If you have any questions, you can reach me on my contact page.  Thanks, and I hope you found this information useful!