Posts Tagged ‘lower back pain’

How to Ease Lower Back Muscle Pain with Deep Soft Tissue Massage

How to Ease Lower Back Pain with Deep Soft Tissue Massage

Deep Soft Tissue Massage is a phrase that gets bandied about quite a bit these days, along with trigger point release. So what does it actually mean and will it help your ease your lower back pain?

What deep soft tissue therapy is, is really just a gradual process of relaxing tense, tight, overworked muscle fibres using different types of massage techniques to encourage the muscles to ‘open up’ and allow work on the deeper muscles. The massage therapist will use more pressure than would be used for say a Swedish massage but the techniques can often be similar. If the massage hurts you then you should tell the therapist to ease off! A good therapist knows that they should always work within your tolerance levels – but it is up to you to help establish where those levels lie. Generally it is posible to gauge to some degree when you are working too strongly, but not always and working too deeply just causes the muscle to resist which is not productive.

Irritated muscles gather ‘ trigger points ‘ which you will recognise as knotty areas in your muscles, they develop in specific places which your therapist will know. They also cause specific symptoms so working to ease them out of the muscles is very beneficial. A muscle with trigger points is a muscle which is not firing on all cylinders! Deep soft tissue work applied during remedial massage will help to remove these little nuisances and get the muscle back to prime working condition.

Lower back pain can come from trigger points in a number of muscles, here in my practice in Ely, Cambs I help people get over episodes of lower back pain by identifying where their problems are, treating the cause and giving advice on how to avoid a recurrence of the problem. Lower back pain need not be a permanent feature of your life.

Avoid muscle pain in cold weather

Avoid muscle pain in cold weather

Here in Ely the winter is in full swing and we are suffering sub-zero temperatures. Guaranteed to exacerbate muscle pain as I was reminded this week. I always have an increase in patients suffering neck, shoulder and low back and hip pain during the colder months but I didn’t imagine I would be suffering myself .

I have been fighting off the ill effects of a virus and have skipped the gym for the last couple of weeks but, feeling better I attended my early morning dance class earlier this week. It was a cold morning and the studio was less than cosy, I had spent a sedentary weekend searching out xmas gifts online.  My hips were feeling tight and my hamstrings particularly inflexible, a major cause of lower back pain, but I pushed through and stretched out tight, cold muscles. Two days later I have resultantly sore legs, complaining at every movement for being neglected and then thrown coldly back into exercise. In summer this wouldn’t have happened to the same extent, keeping muscles warm is not such an issue. We also spend less time sitting and more outside being active.

The moral of my tale ? Muscles that are kept warm and well exercised are less troublesome in the winter months. Exercise regularly to keep your muscles mobile, wrap up warm to keep heat in the muscles so that they work effectively and only stretch out well warmed up muscles. Don’t forget to get a massage after training, it will keep muscles supple, ease out any muscle pain and make sure muscles are ready for the next session.

Can massage help sciatic pain?

Can massage help sciatic pain?

Firstly you need to understand something of why you are suffering sciatic pain. Sciatica is caused when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated. There are a number of reasons why this can happen. A common one is caused by the piriformis pressing on the sciatic nerve.  In simple terms the job of the piriformis is to keep your hip neatly in place in its socket. If you run, walk a lot, spend hours sitting or driving your car, play golf, are a woman over 40, stand with your weight on one hip, are currently pregnant – the list goes on, then you are stressing your piriformis, it will become inflamed and press on your sciatic nerve causing sciatic pain, hence sciatica.

Equally problems with your lower back will irritate the sciatic nerve. This type of sciatica will often be accompanied by lower back pain. Properly known as radiculopathy, sciatica following the path of a spinal nerve root may be caused by damage to a disc.Therefore it is important to consult your doctor first because a doctor will be able to tell by examining you whether the sciatica is due to a herniated disk or piriformis syndrome. For quick reference,  sciatica caused by pressure from the piriformis is often worse when you are sitting down but less of a problem when you are standing or moving around but sciatica which is caused by herniation of a disc is eased by sitting down.

So, can massage help sciatic pain? If your sciatica is due to problems with your piriformis then definitely. A huge proprtion of the patients I treat at my massage practice in Ely Cambs have piriformis syndrome. It generally presents as pain in the buttock and may extend as far as the ankle, I would first check for a facet lock in your spine and if I suspect this may be the cause of your sciatic pain then I would refer you to one of the team of Osteopaths I work with at Ely Complementary Health Centre in order that it might be corrected. Once we are happy that all is fine with your spinal mobility then I can commence with the soft tissue work which will help to ease your symptoms and get you back to top form.