The Effects of Massage for Lower Back Relief

Massage, for the longest time, has been one of the most popular lower back relief options to both doctor-consulting and self-medicating individuals. However, its effects may far more surprise many people, as how encompassing these benefits may be, they might actually be contraindicated for the co-morbid conditions of the patient and may only aggravate these. It is then important to know the mechanical and psychological changes brought about by massage as a lower back relief, then look into its indications and contraindications. best back massager

The mechanical effects of massage generally center on vascular changes, as fluid is displaced by the repetitive uniform directional movement of the hand. It then taps both the circulatory and lymphatic system, facilitating blood and lymph fluid flow. However, it must be used with caution to patients with cardiovascular and renal conditions. Kneading and stroking massage help reduce edema, while compression massage converts non-pitting edema to pitting edema. Furthermore, massage facilitates the release of the neurotransmitter histamine, which causes vasodilation in the superficial veins, causing the draining of metabolic waste fluids. Despite these beneficial effects, massage is contraindicated for patients with thrombosis. It must be remembered that in thrombosis, particles tend to block the blood vessels (as in thrombo-embolitic stroke). Massage may just facilitate the movement of the thrombus through the circulatory system, thus increasing the risk of ischemia. On the other hand, massage was found to decrease spasms while increasing skeletal muscle contractility and endurance.

The psychological effects of massage as a lower back relief takes it from the principle of both placebo effect and neurotransmitter release. Many studies indicate that people experiencing any form of massage will indicate the “feeling of relaxation and well-being”. On the neuroscientific point of view, massage with its effect on the proprioceptive system (therefore influencing the higher centers) triggers the release of endorphins or “feel-good” chemicals. Massage was also found to be of good use for acute and chronic pain conditions coupled with anxiety disorder. Lower back relief massage sometimes incorporates psychological techniques such as guided imagery, and it has been found effective. However, it may not be indicated for patients with hallucinations.

The indications of massage as lower back relief then cannot be limited to interstitial fluid mobilization and blood flow, but also for pain, muscle soreness, prevention and elimination of adhesion and to induce relaxation. Massage can be an intervention to strains, fractures, sprains, contractures, myoedema, spasms, myofascial pain syndrome (MPS), immobilized limbs, amputations and sympathetic dystrophy. Due to its sedative effect, massage is usually used in adjuvant to many anxiety-stimulating conditions.

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