Massage Therapy

Core Medical Centers

Casey Walker, DC

Chiropractor located in Lowell, IN

In the last five years, about one-third of adults in the United States got a massage, and many of those were referred by a physician. Massage can be a safe and effective therapy for lower back pain. Dr. Casey Walker and the team at Core Medical Centers in Lowell, Indiana, are experienced in evaluating lower back pain. Book an appointment today to find out if massage could be the answer to eliminating your pain.

Massage Therapy Q & A

What is massage therapy?

Massage therapy involves the manipulation of soft tissue, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It is most often done with the hands, but sometimes elbows, forearms, or specialized tools.

There are many different styles and techniques, called modalities, included under the umbrella of massage therapy. Various modalities of massage therapy for health benefits have been used for thousands of years.

A few of the types of massage therapy include:

  • Deep tissue massage: Often chosen for chronic lower back pain, this modality involves the therapist using pressure to reach the deep layers of soft tissue.
  • Sports massage: Athletes often need increased flexibility in order to avoid injury. Sports massage may be helpful before, during or after an event.
  • Hot stone massage: Although this modality is frequently associated with spa treatments, it can also be helpful in treating chronic pain, as the stones are placed on specific pressure points.
  • Trigger point massage: A small knot or spasm in the muscle tissue is called a trigger point, and can cause pain locally or refer it to a different area. Releasing the trigger point can relieve pain.

There are others, but these are some of the most common used to address lower back pain. The most effective modality depends on the cause of the pain, which is determined during an initial assessment.

Does research support the use of massage therapy for lower back pain?

Multiple studies show that massage therapy is an effective, low-risk method for addressing lower back pain.

In 2014, a study published in Scientific World Journal found that patients who received massage therapy in addition to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories showed significantly more improvement than those who only received the drugs. In fact, massage was possibly equally as effective as the medications.

A study published in the journal Pain Medicine in 2017, produced some of the most convincing evidence to date. The study found that massage was an effective treatment for about half the participants, all of whom had chronic lower back pain.

What should I expect in a massage therapy treatment session?

Before your massage therapy is scheduled, you undergo a thorough assessment to determine the cause of your lower back pain. This could include imaging, a manual exam, and extensive questioning to help Dr. Walker and the team understand the origin of your pain.

The modality Dr. Walker and the team recommend may also impact what happens during your appointment. For example, what you should expect during a sports massage is different than what you should expect during a hot stone massage.

However, some things are going to be the same:

  • You’ll probably be asked to undress as far as you are comfortable
  • The massage table will have a sheet or towel for covering your body
  • Your therapist will most likely use oil or lotion to limit friction
  • There may or may not be music playing during the massage
  • You should try to breathe normally during the massage