If you’re among the 40 million Americans who suffer from chronic lower back pain, you know how debilitating and painful the struggle can be.
You want, need, and deserve relief ‒ but you may not know what options you have.
Does massage therapy help lower back pain? Can I relieve back pain without prescription medication? What are some effective ways to relieve and prevent recurring pain?
Here at Hand In Health, we get all types of questions about what to do if you have lower back pain. Addressing back pain is never a one-size-fits-all solution ‒ but a combination of massage therapy, fitness, and other natural approaches CAN make all the difference.
How Long Does Lower Back Pain Last?
Though most common among manual workers, anyone can develop lower back pain, especially those over 30.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to predict how long back pain will persist ‒ some people experience acute pain in the lower back for several days to a few weeks, while many others suffer from chronic pain for months or years on end.
The duration of the pain will often depend on the cause (or combination of causes!)
Chronic vs. Acute Lower Back Pain: The Different Causes
As we get older, the discs in our spines and joints weaken, making us more susceptible to pain, stiffness, and immobility. Excess weight also adds more strain to the joints, worsening pain and making it more challenging to walk and perform certain activities.
Again, manual laborers are highly susceptible to lower back pain, especially those who do a lot of bending and heavy lifting at work. Work-related back pain can be acute, only lasting for a short time; however, it can persist and worsen over months and years and become chronic.
Poor posture, muscle injuries, and even severe depression and anxiety can lead to acute pain in the lower back. Meanwhile, severe injuries, diseases, and conditions like spinal arthritis, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, and certain types of cancer can cause chronic pain in the lower back.
What to Do If You Have Lower Back Pain: Relief IS Possible
Has pain in your lower back caused you to miss work or physical activities you once enjoyed? Has it affected your sleep, mobility, and mental well-being?
Finding relief can seem impossible ‒ but with a combination of care by your physician and natural, holistic approaches, such as massage therapy, fitness, and yoga, you can experience lasting relief and restore your quality of life.
How Does Massage Therapy Help Lower Back Pain?
By improving blood circulation, massages speed up and enhance muscle recovery. As they deliver blood and oxygen to recovering muscles, massages simultaneously relieve pain, increase the body’s level of endorphins, and promote relaxation and improved mood.
Both therapeutic and medical massages can relieve pain in the lower back ‒ but it’s important to note that they are two distinct styles of massage therapy that involve different techniques and target different types of lower back pain.
While a therapeutic massage can relieve acute pain and accompanying insomnia, tension, and depression, a medical massage can treat severe or chronic pain caused by specific conditions and diseases.
If you suffer from herniated discs, sciatica, arthritis, or were recently injured, your doctor may recommend medical massage therapy, which we perform right here at Hand In Health. We also offer therapeutic massages for those experiencing pain but aren’t diagnosed with a medical condition or disease. Book your appointment online today!
Yoga & Fitness
It may seem counterintuitive, but getting active and exercising can significantly relieve lower back pain. Physical activity reduces stiffness in the joints and muscles, strengthens muscle tissue, improves blood circulation, and promotes overall healing. Combining massage therapy with fitness can pack a powerful punch by simultaneously relieving pain and improving flexibility for the long term.
That’s not all to consider. Being overweight adds pressure to the joints and can worsen pain. Luckily, chronic back pain sufferers can achieve long-term relief by losing weight and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.
If you would like to schedule a no-charge consultation, our team will customize a fitness plan that will target your lower back pain, help you lose weight, and improve your physical strength.
Even if lower back pain is causing you to experience severe tension, sharp pains, muscle spasms, and great difficulty moving around, light activity and stretching, such as yoga, can help a great deal. Here at Hand In Health, we offer both beginners and advanced yoga, and our private instructors are also happy to work one-on-one with you and help you target lower back pain with safe and effective stretches.
Other Ways to Relieve Lower Back Pain
In addition to exercise and massage therapy, are you still wondering what to do if you have lower back pain? Here are some helpful approaches and tips:
Hydrate. Staying hydrated daily can replenish your spinal discs with enough fluid to better cushion your joints & spine. Dehydration can exacerbate pain.
Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods. Certain foods can reduce inflammation in the back & neck. Consume more berries, green leafy vegetables, salmon, flax, chia seeds, ginger, cayenne, & cinnamon.
Try Acupuncture. Acupuncture can complement massage therapy in many ways, but it can be especially beneficial in targeting trigger points for the lower back & stimulating the central nervous system.
Get Plenty of Rest. While exercise and staying active are essential to relieving pain, it’s also important to get enough sleep & rest. When relaxing or watching TV, elevate your legs so your knees are above heart level.
Put an End to Lower Back Pain with Hand In Health
You don’t have to suffer from lower back pain, miss work, lose sleep, or generally feel uncomfortable and unwell as a result. Now that you have a better understanding of what to do if you have lower back pain, the time to take action is now!
Are you located in Onondaga County or the Central New York region? Hand In Health is ready to customize a massage therapy and fitness plan to relieve lower back pain and restore your health, wellness, and quality of life. Contact our wellness centers in Downtown Syracuse or North Syracuse today!