Back pain is something that affects millions of people worldwide. But it is particularly common in the West, where many people lead sedentary lives. According to the NHS in Britain, back pain is a “leading cause of disability” and may be hurting the economy. Nearly one in ten people reported being affected by the condition, hampering their ability to work and enjoy their lives.
Clearly the issue is of high importance. But there don’t seem to by any quick fixes, at least not yet, to remedy the problem. That said, could those who suffer from back pain, benefit from tricks found in the world of sport?
Those who play sport often put themselves under extreme strain. In fact, injuries among sports people are very common, because of the impact that their training has on their bodies. Repetitive activities, like weightlifting and rowing, can damage the back, leading to pain and injury. Those who play sports are the first to opt for new treatment, for instance, like stem cell therapy.
But they don’t immediately resort to the latest, cutting-edge treatments. Their first line of defense has been, and will continue to be sports massage.
Lower Back Pain
The idea behind sports massage is to alleviate this pain, through a rigorous, therapeutic approach. As it turns out, most pain in the lower back is actually the result of muscle strain. In the wider world, this is usually the result of picking up something that is too heavy or turning at an awkward angle. But, in the world of sport, these types of action are a common feature of everyday training.
Sports people frequently tear the muscles in their back. And as a result, the muscles themselves can become inflamed. In turn, this inflammation causes knock-on effects, including involuntary spasm and difficulty, moving. These knock-on effects halt training and progress.
This is where massage comes in. Massage is actually an excellent way to restore the range of motion, and to reduce the amount of spasm and irritation in the target area. Although the mechanisms by which it works are not well known, it is believed that it works by increasing the delivery of nutrients to the target area.
Upper Back Pain
Back pain, however, is not just limited to the lower back. Those who play sports will frequently injure the muscles in their upper back. These muscles are prone to injury, mainly because of their small size and complexity. Often, over training, these muscles can cause them scrunch up and become tight, even knotted. And these knots can restrict movement and cause ongoing chronic pain. Again, massage can help alleviate pain and restore movement.
What To Expect
Because of the competitive nature of sport, massage therapy has evolved considerably. It’s not just a case of turning up and having a masseuse massage your back. You’ll have a full consultation, usually, where you’ll get to discuss the activities that led up to your back injury. The idea here is to identify the point of fatigue and help work to make it more robust.