Back Pain Massager

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Back Pain Massager

Is a massager good for back pain?

Do electric massagers help with back pain? – Yes, electric massagers can help alleviate back pain and reduce stiffness. They can help increase circulation and improve flexibility, which may help you move with greater ease. Be careful not to apply too much pressure or use a high speed on sensitive areas, as this can worsen pain.

Do vibrating massagers help with back pain?

Understanding Vibration Therapy – Vibration therapy can provide you with pain relief and promote healing through natural, non-invasive methods that keep you out of surgery and away from narcotics and pharmaceuticals. Vibration therapy is offered at our Mile High Spine & Pain Center facility to help repair damaged soft tissues in your discs, ligaments and muscles.

This passive therapy method uses a mechanical force to increase blood flow to the areas of your body that need it for healing and correction. Injuries and trauma cause scar tissue to adhere to soft tissues which can cause pain, limit range of motion, lead to inflammation, re-injury, and neuropathy, Vibration therapy uses a low frequency vibration (4.5 Hertz) to help relax tightened tissues and restore functionality.

This low level of vibration provides a safe treatment method for patients that are suffering from both acute and chronic pain symptoms.

Are Shiatsu back massagers good for you?

Along with back pain, Shiatsu massage has been shown to improve chronic pain such as arthritis. The treatment works by improving blood flow and circulation in the body which can aid the healing of injured muscles. It also helps remove tension from the body and promotes relaxation for a reduction in chronic pain.

Is it OK to use back massager daily?

We recommend you use it no more than 3 to 4 times a week for maximum massage benefits. An easy way to think of it is to set yourself on a schedule to use it every other day while at home.

Where not to use vibrating massager?

Whether you’re sore from your last workout or stiff from sitting in an office chair all day, getting a massage can be a reliable way to relieve the pain, But if regular massages are too costly or you want to knead out the tension between appointments, you may be searching for a way to achieve similar results at home.

Massage guns are one increasingly popular do-it-yourself option. The devices are often shaped a bit like a gun, with a pulsating tip that repeatedly digs into your muscles. Chiropractor Jason Wersland developed one after a motorcycle accident and later founded Theragun, which introduced its first mass-market model in 2016.

Competitors soon jumped into the market as a wide range of people from pro athletes to casual runners started turning to the devices in a bid to go beyond foam rollers for DIY athletic recovery. While some experts say massage guns can be an effective way to relieve muscle pain, it’s important to understand their benefits, limitations, and key features before you buy one.

  1. Consumer Reports is in the process of testing a variety of massage guns, with results expected later this year.
  2. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know if you’re considering one.
  3. There are a number of handheld massagers on the market.
  4. Typical vibration massagers aren’t usually powerful enough to massage deeply.

Massage guns—also called percussive massagers—have more powerful motors and reach deeper into muscle tissue, which can relieve pain, release tension, and even improve range of motion. “What’s unique about these guns is that they go much deeper than the handheld massagers used to go, so you really feel it,” says Michael Fredericson, MD, a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Stanford University.

  • When lighter techniques like stretching and gentle massage don’t improve symptoms, a more vigorous approach might be necessary.
  • Vibration from massage guns increases blood flow to the painful area, according to Julie Sherry, PT, DPT, a physical therapist with UW Health in Verona, Wisc.
  • This increase in blood flow can flush out metabolites like lactic acid and calcium, which cause muscle contractions and pain after exercise, says Shashank Davé, DO, a physiatrist at Indiana University Health and associate professor of clinical physical medicine and rehabilitation at IU School of Medicine.

So percussive massage, including massage guns, could help sore muscles recover faster. A small 2020 study in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine found that 16 male volunteers reported increased range of motion after a 5-minute treatment with a massage gun on their calf muscles.

  • Research on the efficacy of massage guns is still limited, however; in this study, for example, participants did not use the percussive massagers on themselves—someone else performed the treatment.
  • One more thing to keep in mind: The percussive technique isn’t unique to massage guns.
  • Some massage therapists use a similar tapping method, explains Caitlane Gangstad, PT, DPT, outpatient rehab supervisor and physical therapist at the University of Washington Medical Center-Montlake.

Massage guns, however, are more intense. “A person won’t tap this quickly or for this long of a time,” she says. Massage guns are also unique because you’re in charge—once you pinpoint the tense area, self-massage with a gun may allow you to apply more precise pressure than a pro massage therapist.

  1. You’re able to sense how much pressure you’re putting into your body and modulate it accordingly, whereas a massage therapist is a separate entity trying to get that sense,” Gangstad says.
  2. That said, a massage therapist may be able to better identify trigger points, says Fredericson, and it may be difficult for you to fully relax your muscles when you’re giving yourself a massage.

“For athletes who regularly get myofascial release therapy or deep tissue massage, massage guns can be a way to supplement so you maybe don’t have to go as often,” he says. Massage guns range in price from below $100 to several hundred dollars. Higher-end, more customizable models, Davé says, typically cost more.

Speed settings: Not all muscle groups can withstand the same pressure. That’s one reason that adjustable power settings are an important feature, according to Gangstad. For example, you may want to use a lower setting on more sensitive spots, like the calf, and higher pressure on large muscles like the hamstring. Ergonomics: Look for a gun that easily allows you to reach the areas you want to massage, Gangstad suggests, so you don’t have to contort your body. To make sure you actually like using the gun, Davé recommends venturing to a brick-and-mortar store where you can hold the massager in your own hands. Stroke depth: Sherry suggests considering the stroke depth or “amplitude” of the massager. “A cheaper massager you can buy at the grocery store might plunge at 1/60th of the depth,” Sherry says. Ease of use: While some consumers are drawn to percussive guns with bells and whistles such as flashy screens and companion apps, Davé says it’s important to pick a model you understand how to use. “If it’s not easy to use, it discourages people from using it.” Customizability: Picking a massage gun with multiple detachable heads is another way to ensure versatility, Davé says. For example, a “bullet” attachment might work well for a very focal trigger point, such as over the trapezius muscle (shoulder area). A “fork” attachment is better for a muscle region, such as the calf or hamstring muscle group. Rounded heads sometimes come in different sizes—Davé says gluteal muscles might fare better with a medium or larger option. Softer heads are appropriate for sensitive areas. Portability: Massage guns, Davé says, can range in weight from just over a pound to several pounds. If you plan to travel with your massage gun, you may want to opt for a lighter-weight option.

First, identify the specific muscle area you want to target. Turn the massage gun on, and move it slowly and gently across the area in back and forth motions, applying more pressure as needed. Typically, Davé says, anywhere between 6 to 10 minutes is enough.

“In general, start low and go slow,” he adds. “Listen to your body and stop immediately if you feel any pain.” Overstimulating the muscle can cause damage, bruising, and in severe cases, rhabdomyolysis (acute breakdown of muscle tissue). Always do your best to vibrate the massager over muscles only. Avoid joints and bones, especially if you have any type of arthritis.

It’s never a good idea to use a massage gun directly over any part of the spine, Fredericson adds, including the neck. If that area is sore, Gangstad recommends using the gun on the upper trapezius, the big chunk of muscle above your shoulders. People with chronic pain also need to be extra careful with percussive massage; Fredericson says deep pressure could cause pain to flare, especially in those with fibromyalgia.

And if a muscle is particularly sore, whether from a workout or stress-related tension, don’t overdo the pressure. “That muscle will only tense up more if it’s in a lot of pain,” Gangstad says. Certain medical conditions may also make massage guns unsafe to use in particular areas. For example, Sherry says people with low bone density should proceed with caution.

Davé adds that it’s crucial to avoid using a massage gun near surgical wounds, in areas with deep vein thrombosis (often indicated by swelling, pain, and warmth), or near a pacemaker or any other type of implanted hardware. Pregnant women should also avoid using massage guns, advises Davé.

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And they should never be used to treat carpal tunnel syndrome, stress fractures, or acute inflammation. If your massage gun is causing you pain or making things worse, Sherry suggests consulting with a medical professional, who can rule out any issues. And if you have concerns about whether a massage gun is right for you, talk to your medical provider before buying one.

Should your doctor encourage percussive massage, you can get some extra help from a massage therapist or physical therapist. “Working with a trained professional to learn how to use them most effectively for your condition can be helpful and reduce the risk of hurting yourself,” Sherry says. Ashley Abramson Ashley Abramson is a freelance writer focused on health and psychology. In addition to Consumer Reports, she’s written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Guardian. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband, two young sons, and their pair of pups. When she’s not writing, she enjoys good food, movies, and the Lake Michigan views down the street.

What are the side effects of vibration massagers?

Parkinson’s disease – A study reported in NeuroRehabilitation suggests that vibration therapy may have short-term benefits for people with Parkinson’s disease, For example, it may help decrease muscle tremors and rigidity. More research is needed to assess the long-term effects.

are taking blood thinning medicationshave advanced diabeteshave heart diseaseare pregnant

Vibration therapy may have some benefits for treating certain conditions, such as muscle weakness, muscle soreness, or Parkinson’s disease. It may also be helpful for older people who are unable to exercise regularly. More research is needed to assess its potential benefits, including whether or not it can increase bone density.

Why does my back hurt after using a back massager?

You most likely schedule a massage to float into a euphoric state of relaxation and get some relief from tight muscles, pain, or injury. However, as part of the healing process, you may feel some degree of muscle soreness or tightness afterward. Just as you may feel sore after a workout, massage can stimulate areas of your body that you haven’t targeted recently.

  1. If you’re feeling pain in a certain part of your body, you may unconsciously ignore this spot, which can cause tension.
  2. A massage can highlight areas of your body where you’re holding on to tightness.
  3. Certain types of massage, such as deep tissue, are more likely to cause post-massage soreness.
  4. If you’re super sensitive, have a lot of pain or tension, or simply want to avoid feeling sore afterward, opt for a massage that uses a light, gentle pressure.

Read on to learn more about why you may feel sore after a massage, how to minimize discomfort, and the different types of massage available. It’s normal to feel sore after a massage. After stimulating muscles that you may not usually use, you might experience delayed onset muscle soreness.

  1. This is a physical response to the inflammation as your body heals.
  2. This can happen if your muscles aren’t accustomed to massage.
  3. In the same way that your body gets used to working out, your muscles need time to get used to being manipulated in certain ways.
  4. You may experience inflammation and soreness in areas that need healing.

If you have neck pain after a massage, for example, it can be a sign that you carry a lot of tension in that area. You may have limited flexibility and mobility in your neck due to working at a desk or bending forward repeatedly. If you haven’t had a massage recently or if it’s your first one, it’s more likely that you will feel sore afterward.

Which is better shiatsu or vibration?

What Types of Massagers Are There? – Back massagers can be separated into two main categories: Vibrational and shiatsu. Dr. Todd Peterson, a former college and pro football player and a chiropractor based in Chicago, says that percussive (aka vibration-powered) back massagers are useful to “gate” pain.

As Peterson explains, nerves can only send one signal at a time, and the fastest signal is registered by the brain first. Since vibrations travel faster through the body than dull soreness does, a vibrating massager basically outruns aches, and makes it harder for your brain to register the other, uncomfortable sensation.

Shiatsu massage, on the other hand, focuses on deep kneading, paying attention to pressure points on the body. Shiatsu is great for specific points of pain, like the knot in your shoulders or your aching middle back; vibrating massagers are good for general relaxation of an entire tense or tired area.

What are the disadvantages of shiatsu massage?

Side effects – Shiatsu is generally safe to have. You might have some mild side effects such as headache and muscle stiffness after treatment. You may also feel very tired. These symptoms usually pass within a few hours, but you should contact your therapist for advice if they continue.

low platelet levels in the bloodweakened bones (osteoporosis)

Your therapist should avoid certain points on your body during the first three months of pregnancy because pressure on these points might increase the risk of miscarriage. Your therapist may want to delay your treatment until you have recovered if you have a high temperature (fever).

Why do back massages feel so good?

Your Brain Releases Feel-Good Chemicals and Pain Diminishes – The therapist’s touch causes an immediate reaction in your brain. As soon as your skin’s nerve cells feel pressure, they signal the brain to release feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which boost your mood and give you a natural high.

  • As a result, stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline begin to decrease and the overall effect is one of euphoria and bliss.
  • If you have real aches or pains, the morphine-like effect from the endorphins will help diminish them by blocking pain signals from the brain.
  • And if your muscles are sore after a rigorous workout, a good rubdown will actually help them heal faster.

Researchers found that massage decreases the inflammation caused by exercise and increases the occurrence of cell repair. Many massage professionals use aromatherapy during their treatments by applying fragrant essential oils to your bare skin. These oils complement the therapist’s soothing touch and they smell good, but they also stimulate specific brain activity.

Grapefruit oil can encourage the production of enkephalins, neurotransmitters that act as natural painkillers, while the oil from marjoram can boost your levels of serotonin, helping you feel calm. Lavender is one of the most familiar oils and is known to promote relaxation and sleepiness. And oil extracted from the tropical plant ylang-ylang triggers the release of those feel-good endorphins mentioned earlier.

Try using essential oils at home by drizzling your favorite into a bath or adding it to your unscented body lotion. As the oil combines with the hot water or the heat of your skin, its scent intensifies.

How long should you leave a back massager on?

Including Shiatsu massage pillows, percussive massage guns, and a full-on massage chair cover. – By, a senior writer at the Strategist covering kids’ toys and men’s style. She joined the Strategist in 2019. She is a former writer for GQ and an accomplished illustrator. Photo: Marcus McDonald If you don’t have the budget for regular massage treatments — or your partner gets easily bored working out your shoulder knots — an electric back massager is a great stand-in. Whether you’re using a Shiatsu-style massage pillow, a percussive massage gun, or a full-on massaging chair cover, the benefits are mostly the same as a traditional hands-on massage.

Meera Watts, founder and CEO of Siddhi Yoga, says that a good electric massager will relax your tense muscles and provide immediate comfort, and it may also keep you from developing future strains since tense or injured muscles often create a feedback loop of awkward postures and overcompensation in other areas.

But not all electric back massagers are created equal. As with any other piece of technology or medical device, you should look for a high-quality product that you can use often and will last for a very long time. Kevin Cronin, owner of ARC Physical Therapy, says that in general you get what you pay for.

  1. He also cautions that improper use and overuse (especially with percussive massagers) can lead to injuries, including bruising and nerve damage.
  2. His advice is to avoid any areas close to the bone and go for an off-and-on type of application to avoid injury — “20 to 30 minutes is adequate.” To help you find the very best electric back massagers, we talked to eight experts, including Watts and Cronin, about the back massagers they recommend and use themselves.

If you already know what you’re looking for, use our clickable table of contents to skip ahead. But if you need a bit more guidance, read on for all of our experts’ electric back massager recommendations. Electric back massagers come in a bunch of different styles and configurations — including pillow-shaped Shiatsu massagers, percussive massage guns, scarflike Shiatsu massagers that drape around your neck and shoulders, long-handled wand-style massagers, and massage chair covers that work all areas of the back, neck, and shoulders.

Before making your pick, think about how and where you’ll use a back massager most, what area of your back needs relief, whether you prefer a strong pounding massage or a slower kneading massage, and if you have a friend, roommate, or partner who’d be willing to help. “I really like massage pillows or massage chair covers for people who are in pain or have an injury,” says Dr.

Kimberley Maugeri, chiropractor and founder of Skōp, “Instead of twisting and turning to use a handheld massage gun on your back, you can stay neutral by sitting against or on the pillow or chair cover.” Cronin prefers Shiatsu-style massagers in any form because the rotating segments inside the device help to move fluid around and relax muscles in a similar way to traditional hands-on massage.

According to Jakob Roze, founder and CEO of RozeFit, massage guns use high percussive force to access deep knots and tension in your muscles just like a massage therapist would do with deep-tissue massage. This makes them very effective at relieving intense stiffness in the back muscles, but using them requires knowledge and care to avoid injury — as well as a lot of flexibility, long arms, or a second person to help you reach certain areas.

Wand-style back massagers typically have long ergonomic handles that help you reach your own lower or upper back easily. Most wands use percussive force to relieve deep muscle tension. “More than one speed is really important when looking for a back massager,” says Maugeri, adding that she also really likes massagers that include different-shaped heads so you can customize the experience.

  • Most massage guns and wands will come with different attachments and should offer multiple speeds or intensities (the faster the speed, the more intense it will feel).
  • But when it comes to pillows, chair covers, and other passive massagers, they should include at least a few speed and direction options.
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These extra features let you tailor your massage to your exact needs — slower or faster, not too hard or not too soft, and up and down or side to side. Both Cronin and Melissa Kotlen, a lactation consultant, labor and delivery nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital, and manager of the Boram Postnatal Retreat, recommend choosing a back massager with a heat option because adding heat to massage helps to relax muscles even more and will increase blood flow to the affected area.

Because her focus is on postpartum women, Kotlen explains, she looks for one that is heated, durable, and can be used on “those stressed/painful areas that affect new mothers, particularly the upper back and neck as they tend to hunch while breastfeeding.” For the most part, massage guns do not offer this feature, but many pillow and chair-cover massagers do.

Cronin notes that people should always be careful not to leave the heat on for extended periods of time, especially if you are prone to falling asleep while using your device. Some pillow and chair massagers may also have an auto-off function to prevent this. Type of massager: Shiatsu chair cover | Speeds and functions: 3 speed settings, 4 massage zones, 4 massage types | Heat option: Yes If you’re looking for an all-in-one type of back massager, this Renpho Chair Massage Pad is designed to target multiple zones, including your neck and shoulders, upper back, and lower back.

  • It even has a vibrating seat cushion to relax the backs of your thighs.
  • The main portion of the massager features multidirectional nodes that combine Shiatsu, kneading, and rolling functions with or without heat.
  • For the neck and shoulders, the massager has a removable massage pillow, the position of which can be adjusted to match your height.

Cronin gave his wife a Shiatsu massage chair cover like this one for her birthday and told us she loves it. When deciding which one to purchase, he looked for one from a reputable company that provides many different types of heated massage and wouldn’t look like an eyesore. Type of massager: Percussive wand | Speeds and functions: Variable speed dial, 6 massage heads | Heat option: No For a less-expensive option that takes up less space, Watts recommends the Mighty Bliss Deep Tissue Cordless Back Massager. She uses it before bed to help relax her muscles and get a good night’s sleep, and appreciates the versatility you get with six different massage heads. Type of massager: Shiatsu pillow | Speeds and functions: One speed, 4 rotating nodes change direction every 60 seconds | Heat option: Yes Massage pillows are best for use on the neck and shoulders or lower back, and they offer the convenience of being hands-free.

This massage pillow is a Strategist favorite and comes recommended by Kotlen as well as former Strategist senior editor Casey Lewis, who bought one to help her aching work-from-bed back. Lewis convinced a handful of her fellow Strategist staffers to buy one, including me. Personally, I find it’s most effective as a lower-back massager, and I use it sandwiched between me and a bunch of propped-up pillows while watching TV in bed.

Kotlen recommends it for relieving lower-back pain in new moms. “As babies get older and heavier, the lower back tends to feel the effects,” she says. “I find the Zyllion massager most helpful because it is very portable, versatile, and ergonomic.” That said, if you are looking for something with lots of different speeds or massage styles, this particular pillow may not be your best choice. Type of massager: Shiatsu and vibration pillow | Speeds and functions: One speed, circular kneading combined with 3-D in-and-out motion | Heat option: Yes Byrne says that, aside from seeing a physiotherapist, using an electric back massager is what has helped most with her recurrent muscle pain.

  • In addition to the two she has at home, she uses this massage pillow from wellness brand HoMedics at her physiotherapist’s office.
  • Like the Zyllion pillow above, it offers multidirectional Shiatsu massage and heat in one speed.
  • In addition, the nodes on this massager move in and out as well as rotate, and it features optional vibration to further relax stiff muscles.

Type of massager: Scarf-style Shiatsu massager | Speeds and functions: 3 speed settings, circular kneading nodes that change direction automatically | Heat option: Yes Former Strategist senior writer Karen Adelson also purchased an electric back massager to sort out her aching back while acclimating to working from home.

She went for this scarf-style model that you wrap around your neck and shoulders and hold in place via ergonomic hand/wrist loops at each end. The design allows you to use the massager mostly hands-free so you can work or read a book at the same time, and the harder you pull down on the ends, the more intense your massage becomes.

Back in 2021, Adelson called it the best thing she bought all year and said she used it several times a week to relax muscles and stop tension headaches in their tracks. Four buttons on the side of the massager let you turn it on and off, toggle heat on and off, and change the speed and direction of the massage — though it also changes direction automatically every few minutes and turns off after 15 minutes. Type of massager: Wrap-style Shiatsu massager | Speeds and functions: Variable speed settings, 3 levels of vibration | Heat option: Yes If you’re looking for a hands-free massager that you can wear as you as you go about your day, Hyperice’s portable massager, which you can strap around your torso, contains “four little square nodes that heat up and vibrate,” says chiropractor Dr.

Grant Radermacher. A digital touch screen allows you to control the temperature and vibration patterns, and a rechargeable battery means you can walk around while you wear it without having to stay near a power outlet. The nodes don’t perform “back-and-forth oscillation, so it’s not super-effective in actually breaking up knots in the muscle,” Dr.

Radermacher caveats — for that you’ll want something like the Hypervolt massage gun below — but if you’re simply craving some instant relief, the feel-good sensation “can override some pain signals that the nerves are sending.” Type of massager: Percussive massage gun | Speeds and functions: 3 speed settings, 5 massage heads | Heat option: No This Hypervolt massage gun comes recommended by Maugeri as well as professional surfer Kelly Slater and drag queen Katya Zamolodchikova,

“I love my Hypervolt. I use it in my office, at the gym, and at home. The different speeds are great for different parts of the body and I love how quiet it is,” says Maugeri. Zamolodchikova calls the Hypervolt “a great splurge,” saying it has paid for itself in just four tries because getting a massage is expensive.

Although you can do it yourself, she says she gets her trainer to help reach her glutes and lower back. “There are various levels of intensity and also different attachments to target different things. There’s a flat one, a round one, and a prong that looks torturous — and is — to accommodate the different shapes of the musculature.

  1. I use the big round ball the most.
  2. It’s like a catchall.
  3. It’s good for everything,” she says.
  4. According to Slater, massage guns are really big at surf competitions.
  5. But he uses his Hypervolt anytime his body needs some loosening up : after surfing, after sitting for hours on a plane, or after a hot bath.

“I had a Theragun before this, but I found it to be really loud — and if I’m being honest, too expensive. The Hypervolt is half the price and much quieter,” he says. Because percussive massage is more intense than vibration or Shiatsu, several of our experts recommend starting on the lowest setting and using caution around sensitive areas like the neck. Type of massager: Percussive massage gun | Speeds and functions: 5 speed settings, 7 massage heads | Heat: No heat option In addition to the Zyllion pillow massager, I have this Turonic G5 massage gun at home. I originally bought it with my fiancé in mind because he bikes to work every day and has been wanting to try a massage gun on his tired legs and feet.

It’s great for that, but I have also started using it (or asking him to use it) on my lower back and shoulders. It comes with more heads than any of the other massagers on this list and even includes a flat metal one that’s meant for use with massage oil. I haven’t tried that yet, but I’m curious. I like the soft round-ball head best, and I only ever use it on the lowest or second-lowest settings — both are plenty intense for me.

It’s very quiet and comes with a zipper case that conveniently fits the massage gun and all the massage heads, as well as the charger. But I hardly have to use the charger because the battery lasts for such a long time. Best of all, the Turonic G5 lets me and my fiancé give each other massages that are actually effective, without getting bored or wearing out our hands.

  1. Meera Watts, founder and CEO of Siddhi Yoga • Kevin Cronin, physical therapist and owner of ARC Physical Therapy • Dr.
  2. Imberley Maugeri, chiropractor and founder of Skop • Dr.
  3. Grant Radermacher, chiropractor at Ascent Chiropractic • Jakob Roze, founder and CEO of RozeFit • Kelly Slater, professional surfer • Drag queen Katya Zamolodchikova • Melissa Kotlen, lactation consultant and labor and delivery nurse at Mount Sinai Hospital, and manager of the Boram Postnatal Retreat • Professional ballet dancer Kate Byrne, of My Ballet Coach The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape.
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What is the best position to relax your spine?

The ideal sleep position: On your back – The best position to avoid back pain is lying flat on your back. Even so, many people find it the hardest way to enjoy deep sleep. For optimal spine alignment, place one pillow underneath your head or neck and another underneath your knees.

Why does rubbing my spine feel good?

There’s a special kind of painful pleasure that comes from a good back rub. Massage specialists and friends alike spend a lot of their time balancing the pain that comes with squeezing and pressing your aching back with the pleasure that comes when that pressure is off.

But why are back rubs so great? Why aren’t we all crazy for stomach rubs or ankle rubs? No one knows for sure. But Real Clear Science explains one idea : Last year, researchers at UC – San Diego examined the affect of a fifteen-minute back massage on hormone levels in the body. The participants who received a back rub were found to have significantly higher levels of oxytocin compared with control subjects who merely rested quietly.

The hormone is known to evoke feelings of contentment and alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety. Additionally, the researchers found that levels of corticotropin, a hormone associated with biological stress, were reduced. Contrary to the earlier mentioned endorphin theory, they also discovered that the experimental group had lower levels of beta-endorphins.

Another theory has to do with how quickly signals like pain and pleasure travel through our bodies. A review paper explains : Melzack and Wall (1965) theorized that the experience of pain can be reduced by competing stimuli such as pressure or cold, because of the fact that these stimuli travel along faster nervous system pathways than pain.

In this way, performed with sufficient pressure would create a stimulusthat interferes with the transmission of the pain stimuli to the brain, effectively “closing the gate” to the reception of pain before it can be processed. Another theory for why back rubs are great, is because they take us back to when we interacted, physically, in groups all the time.

  1. Here’s the American Chemical Society’s blog : But in our own modern “rat race”society, have we humans lost the need for touch? Not at all, according to pediatric psychologist Tiffany Field of the Touch Research Institute.
  2. Field, who does most of her research at the University of Miami, says humans can suffer health setbacks without touch and gain health benefits with touch.

Her studies show that, in addition to relieving a sore back, massage can relieve anxiety, depression, tension, and stress; help with headache, chronic pain, and digestive disorders; and encourage healing of almost any area in the body by promoting the flow of blood and lymphatic fluids, stimulating nerves, and loosening muscles and connective tissue to keep them elastic.

What is the most relaxing position for your spine?

An estimated 80 percent of adults will experience back pain at some time in their lives. For some, the back pain may be caused or exacerbated by the way they sleep. The best sleep positions will keep your spine in a neutral position, or match the natural contour of the spine.

This is important because a neutral position minimizes certain pressure points along the spine that don’t need to be under stress. When those pressure points are under stress, it may create pain when you wake up in the morning. There are no formal classes or training manuals on the right way to sleep.

People usually settle into the sleep position that’s most comfortable for them. Here are the three common sleep positions and how to modify them for optimal back health. Back The best sleep position to keep your spine neutral is on the back. When you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees and a little roll underneath the small of your neck.

The pillows will help you maintain the natural curves of the spine. Side If you’re more comfortable sleeping on your side, place a pillow under your neck so it’s in alignment with the rest of your spine and a pillow between your legs so one leg doesn’t stretch over the other leg causing your pelvis to tilt.

You can flex your hips and knees a little but not so high that your spine curves outward. Stomach Sleeping on your stomach is probably the hardest on your back. If you prefer to sleep on your stomach, place a small pillow under the pelvis or lower belly so it maintains the arch of your back.

How long should you use a massager on your back?

How Not To Use A Massage Gun – Massage guns should not be used on strained or pulled muscles. They should also be used on muscles, not bones, nerves, joints, or tendons. Avoid any scabs, wounds, recent bone fractures, cancerous lesions, or anywhere that has impaired sensation.

While the feeling of a massage gun can take some getting used to, it shouldn’t be painful. If you’re sore after using one, it might signify that you pushed down too hard or for too long, so take it easy and find your sweet spot. If you feel pain while applying the massage gun, then apply it less firmly.

Move your gun to find the right spot, or take a break and try again later. Remember, the pain might indicate that you’re running over a bony prominence or a vein-artery nerve bundle. Over time, overstimulating these vulnerable areas can lead to problems.

The massage gun doesn’t know the difference between bone, muscle, fascia, and nerve. It can’t pinpoint an injury or whether a muscle is too tight or loose. Therefore, it’s up to you to listen to your body and respond accordingly. Stick to no more than 2 minutes on each muscle group to avoid bruising or injury.

Also, remember that the highest settings are designed for people with huge muscles; higher-power doesn’t always equal better. You will find that 1-2 minutes is all you need to experience the fantastic benefits of these devices. You may want to start with just 10-30 seconds while your body gets used to it.

Where should you not use a massage gun?

Where Should You Not Use a Massage Gun – Practicing safety precautions when using a massage gun can help you avoid potential damage or injury to tissues as well as other concerns. For instance, a massage gun should never be used in the front part of the neck or directly on the spine.

Other sensitive areas you should avoid using a massage gun include the carotid artery, the kidneys, knees, and ankles, Frayna says. “Start on a low setting to allow your muscles to get used to the sensation and remain in control,” explains Frayna. While the massage gun is an excellent tool for relieving post-exercise soreness after a workout, Dr.

Alexander indicates that if you ever have pain or issues with deeper tissues, then it would be best to consult a healthcare professional for a further examination before using a massage gun.

Does massager reduce pain?

Therapeutic massage for pain relief – Harvard Health Therapeutic massage may relieve pain by way of several mechanisms, including relaxing painful muscles, tendons, and joints; relieving stress and anxiety; and possibly helping to “close the pain gate” by stimulating competing nerve fibers and impeding pain messages to and from the brain.

  • Therapeutic massage is an active area of research.
  • In particular, it has been studied for its effect on pain in the back, hands, neck, and knees, among other areas.
  • A study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice showed a reduction in hand pain and an improvement in grip strength among people who had four weekly hand massage sessions and did self-massage at home.

They also slept better and had less anxiety and depression than people in the control group who didn’t receive hand massage. A study published in Annals of Family Medicine in 2014 found that 60-minute therapeutic massage sessions two or three times a week for four weeks relieved chronic neck pain better than no massage or fewer or shorter massage sessions.

Massage therapy can involve varying degrees of pressure. Some people find certain forms of massage, such as deep tissue massage, to be painful. Massage doesn’t have to be painful to be therapeutic, so be sure to tell your therapist the type of touch you prefer (light touch, firm pressure, hard pressure).

Lighter may be more relaxing and therefore more beneficial, depending on your situation. People with certain pain conditions such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome may only be able to tolerate light pressure. There are no data to suggest that massage is harmful, but there are some specific situations where it is not recommended: massaging an inflamed area of skin, for example, can make it worse by causing irritation.