What Is Common Between A Massage Therapist , Your Back Pain And UK’s Economic Recovery

, Friday, 25 July 2014

What Hurts Your Back Can Hurt the Economy

According to a report released last February by the Office for National Statistics or ONS entitled Sickness Absence in the Labour Market, about 131 million days have been lost in the UK due to sickness absences since 2011. Although the most common reasons cited by workers for their absences were minor illnesses like colds, cough and flu, it is worthwhile to mention that most workers bounce back from these illnesses quickly with regular tissue therapy.


Compare that to musculoskeletal disorders like back pain, which tend to linger longer and recur from time to time. In fact, absences due to these conditions account for about a quarter or 35 million days of the 131 million days lost.

In another research published by The Work Foundation, an independent research group, last October 2013, it was revealed that the UK economy was losing roughly £15 billion due to absenteeism caused by musculoskeletal disorders.


Sitting on a time bomb

If you are to ask a therapist, he’ll likely tell you that almost anyone can succumb to back pain. However, there are some sectors wherein workers, due to the demands of their jobs, are more prone to suffering from this condition. These include factory workers, nurses, construction workers, and office workers.

Back pain, in the context of work, may be caused by numerous factors. Three of the most common are a force, repetitive movements and poor posture. These factors can be further compounded by other things like obesity, smoking, stress, poor sleeping posture and lack of physical activity.

An Ounce of Prevention

Fortunately, preventing back pain in the workplace can be easily prevented, although you may need to be mindful of certain things and modify your routines.

Firstly, consider engaging in more physical activities, especially if you are an office worker. Excess weight can take a severe toll on your back and losing the extra baggage you carry can help minimize back pain. Even walking a few minutes a day can be beneficial, although it is preferable to opt for an exercise regimen that strengthens the core muscles.

Be mindful of how you stand and sit. Whenever possible, choose a chair that provides lumbar support and sits with your feet planted firmly on the ground. In lieu of lumbar support, you can simply place a pillow on your back.

When lifting heavy objects, make sure to initiate the motion with your knees, paying close attention to your core and the natural arch of your back. Whenever possible, ask another person for help in lifting heavy objects or use a lifting device.

Back pain in the office

An alternative to medications and invasive procedures

When dealing with back pain, you do not have to rely on medications or invasive treatments. Along with treatments like chiropractic and physical therapy, you can bounce back from this condition through regular massage.

Numerous studies indicate that regular sessions of massage therapy do help patients improve their well-being. Specifically, this treatment method can aid in improving blood circulation which can hasten recovery, improve the range of motion which aids in relaxing the muscles, and aid in the release of endorphins which help patients manage chronic pain.

When choosing a massage therapist for your back pain, opt for one who offers bespoke treatments which utilize a variety of different techniques. Your therapist should also be well-versed in structural imbalances, including core distortion which may cause back pain.

Awareness of this concept can lead to a more effective treatment, centered not only on relieving pain but more importantly, on the possible root cause of the issue.

Treating specific back pain with the help of a massage therapist

Nowadays, more and more people are complaining of back and shoulder pain and other musculoskeletal problems. The daily grind of work can take its toll on the body and may manifest as aches and disorders that simple rest and relaxation cannot address.

It is an undeniable fact that a lot of people are workaholics and don’t even bother to consult with chiropractors, orthopaedists or neurologists and would rather prefer to take medication to alleviate the pain. However, this doesn’t consider the bigger picture and is sort of a Band-aid solution to a more serious problem.

A work-centric way of living will most likely lead to problematic back symptoms that can interfere with a daily routine. Although these cases are rather common, treatment is rather difficult because of the lack of knowledge about the situation. Over-the-counter medicine will only relieve pain for a few days; a massage therapist can release tense muscles and joints, which may work short-term, but the symptoms are most likely to recur.

However, massage therapy can still be utilised to rehabilitate underlying problems. There are instances wherein pain is caused by body misalignment or anatomical factors. This can be addressed by a massage therapist, by working the body to achieve structural balance. Quite a lot of people experiencing discomfort head to a spa to experience a body massage. In London, there are a lot of options to choose from, but perhaps the most important thing is to select the type of massage which can help or aid you in treating the specific cause of your pain.

Pelvic tilt

Functional short/long leg

Chronic pain is a symptom of a larger problem. Usually, the cause is easily detected by observing which part of the body has a limited range of motion or is formed incongruently. Other reasons can be due to structural imbalance, which impairs function and causes stress. Core distortion, for example, is an imbalance of the ilium and sacrum, which is common and may be acquired since birth. This results in conditions called “functional long leg” or “functional short leg” that manifest in weakness and pain. Treatment involves soft tissue therapy and strengthening of the joints, which can be achieved with massage. This will bring the structural balance to its normal function and therefore create a long-term solution to the chronic pain.

Anterior pelvic tilt

Massage can also help in relieving lumbo-pelvic pain brought about by the anterior pelvic tilt, which is a postural or structural problem. This happens when the pelvis is not aligned and is frequently forced to carry the weight of the upper body, like when sitting or when picking up and lifting heavy objects. Massage therapy contributes to the relief of this disorder by reducing tightness in the lumbar extensor muscles and iliopsoas. Massage techniques focusing on these points will reduce tension and stress, which will lead to comfort and relaxation.

Ben has been a practical pain management trainer and a celebrated massage therapist. He believes human well-being is deeply connected to the health of mind and body both, including deep tissues. He holds numerous certifications for best of breeds massage techniques helping him on a mission for healthy London and then rest of the world. He has been an active contributor in massage technique research and on Massaggi blog.