Massage for Back Pain

Why should you want a massage for back pain?  Where to start? … Massage is essentially the oldest therapy.  It’s something we do instinctively to ourselves (rub the sore bit) and our mothers do to us as soon as we’re born (caress us).  If our instincts direct us to massage, can it be wrong?  I don’t think so.

Why does it feel so good?

You know when you first feel a really good therapist’s hands move over you, and your whole body relaxes, you can feel yourself saying “aaaaaahhhhhh…”  (whether inwardly or out loud).  It feels so good because the mechanical pressure actually blocks the pain pathways in your central nervous system AND it causes a release of feel good chemicals in your brain called endorphins, which apart from dampening down pain pathways (again), they give you a natural “high” like opiates.   At the same time, it nudges your body and mind into recovery mode, stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system which aids digestion, sleep and other essential regenerative functions; it lowers the production of adrenalin and cortisol (stress hormones) allowing your whole being to become more at peace.   It’s worth saying again – “aaaaaaahhhhhhh…”

Does it actually do any lasting good?

But is this just all a temporary feel good factor, without really doing any lasting good?  Far from it… We know that massage causes the release of chemicals in your body that help you to heal – it actually changes which genes are expressed locally, thereby bringing about a reduction in inflammation and a speeding up of cell repair.  Numerous studies have shown the benefits of massage for back pain and countless testimonials give a more personal story.

So, if you’d like to enjoy a less painful back AND enjoy the process of getting one, give us a ring.

Or check out my course for sciatica treatment at home, it will help relieve the annoying pain and give you more freedom.



By | 2018-01-12T19:09:38+00:00 February 3rd, 2015|Relaxation and Visualisation, Treatments that Work|4 Comments

About the Author:

Clinic Director and Osteopath. Gavin graduated as a Gold Medallist in 1991 and is now a Vice Patron of the British School of Osteopathy. Co-author of “The Back Book” with Gavin Hastings OBE in 1996, and author of "active X backs - and effective solution for lower back pain"; he has an MSc in The Clinical Management of Pain from the University of Edinburgh. He's passionate about helping to move people as far from illness and pain as possible, and in January 2015 set himself the target of helping a million people get a better back.


  1. Kath 01/04/2015 at 15:46 - Reply

    As someone who suffers with fibromyalgia & osteoarthritis in low back & big joints how do I get round this Gavin?

    • Gavin Routledge 01/04/2015 at 20:47 - Reply

      Massage could play a useful role in helping to improve how you feel day to day Kath, while you work on a program of trying – slowly – to increase your activity levels.

  2. Kath 13/04/2015 at 14:50 - Reply

    Thanks Gavin maybe now the weather is turning to be a tad warmer I could try it out! Arthritis joints and back very sore when it’s cold weather. Find I tense up with this which then affects back

    • Gavin Routledge 14/04/2015 at 07:11 - Reply

      Could be very helpful to help everyting relax, which is very good for endorphin production and therefore pain.

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