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Question: Which type of massage is most suited to helping a bad back?

Asked by charleymarley 5 years ago

16 answers

My boyfriend suffers from a bad back and slight arthritis in his knees, so I'm looking into booking him in for a massage. Which type is suited to helping with these problems? He says it's worse at themid to lower back rather than the shoulders, and a really bad aching and feeling stiff.

Therapeutic Massage

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5 years ago

Why not help out and give your answer to the question?Hi there Charleymarley! It is so wonderful of you to care about your boyfriend so much! Based off of your posting, here are some things I can tell you. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call! 540-641-3056

As far as his session options, it really depends on his types of injuries. Are his problems related to pinched nerves? Slipped discs? Is he over weight? Is/was he an athelete? Has he had any previous back & knee injuries? Has he ever had surgery in those areas? Has he been diagnosed with arthritis officially? Is his back pain due to kidney or adrenal gland disorders? Is he cleared from a doctor to receive massage?

All of these questions and more depend on his type of treatment. If his back pain is mid-lower back, in addition to what Oakynleaf suggested, I would also work on the glutes, pelvic muscles & upper legs using Swedish, Deep Swedish, Myofascial Release (MFR), Combined Deep Therapy & Travell Trigger Point Therapy, maybe even some Shiatsu & possibly some energy work too. Sometimes back pain is due to problems with the glutes. Because his knees also hurt, I would work on the muscles, ligaments & tendons surrounding the knees & lower leg as well. Paying specific attention to the iliotibial band (ITB) and to the TFL.

Also, what is his posture like? Does he slouch? Are his shoes supportive to his arches in his feet? Do his hips lign up correctly? A chiropractor, doctor or medical massage therapist can see of that is part of the problem. Sometimes these all can be causes of back pain. Does he have good support when he sleeps/drives? When sleeping, our bodies should be a straight line from the top of our head to the base of our spine. Pillows, mattress toppers, etc. can usually remmedy this.

Ultimately, while you are the one booking the session, your boyfriend and the massage therapist will be the people to design his session outline. Although, they may give him some 'take home' exercises that you may be able to help with it depends on the skill also of the massage therapist as well. They may choose something different.

Something to consider as well is the lifestyle he lives... Does he often feel like he's under a lot of pressure? Does he have difficulty making decisions that he can stand on? Does he feel like his life is unstable? These are all emotional questions that can impact someone's emotional/spiritual health that often manifest in the back/knees.

The important thing to know, is that whatever happens during the session, your boyfriend will be encouraged to make healthy lifestyle changes. Which, will require your support and understanding. Now, based off of your concern, I would say that will be no problem for you. :)

Good luck!
Andrea Teague
Massage Practitioner
Life Coach

Sources: http://www.ateague.abmp.com

Other answers (15)

Oakynleaf 5 years ago

I would use a combination of work using deep tissue, myofascial release, and trigger point methods. I would teach him specific stretches, exercises, and self-applied trigger point methods. I would want to work on him once a week for at least three months. More importantly would be his need to develop a daily routine of stretching, exercising, and treating his own pain using a variety of tennis and lacrosse balls. See my web-site and especially go to "Links to Learning" and find the link to Paul Ingraham's resources.

Sources: http://www.claudemassage.net

Massage-Glasgow 5 years ago

I agree with most other therapists here, a combination of Myofascial Release, Trigger Point work and Deep Tissue Massage could help. The main question is what is at the root of the problem because until that is diagnosed and addresses all the treatment no matter how good will only be alleviating symptoms and not addressing the cause.

RachelLM 5 years ago

I think a hot stone massage would be reallygood for him as the massage combined with the heat is really good for arthiritis. Also doing a steam before a massage is great as the steam helps to warm and relax the muscles before the massage and so the muscles are more receptive. We do a treatment that would be perfect!! It is the Serial Massage Ritual where a warming and soothing mud is applied to the whole body (this mud is good for athiritis) and then you relax in the serial (steam) room before having a massage.
Hope this helps!

Massagenc2003 5 years ago

Lots of different massages could help him. I would suggest deep tissue. It sounds like his muscles just are not getting the blood flow they need. A deep massage can relieve knots and get the muscle to come out of that constant contracted position.

lmtprice2009 5 years ago

a lot of the therapists below covered a good bit of it. also need to know has he ever had surgery? any accidents? A good thing for him to get work done would be anywhere from the lower back, glutes(buttocks area), to the hamstrings (thighs). this would release a lot of tension in those areas. I would recommend going into a session with a therapist for 30 min to get a feel of the area and see the type of work he may need. if you have any questions, I use my facebook for professional use.

Sources: http://www.facebook.com/lmt.price

EmeryMassageandBodywork 5 years ago

Has he been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis?? The massage could include kneading techniques, stretches, joint mobilization as tolerated, back and limbs should be massaged gently, heat packs can be used to ease pain and he can practice deep breathing to mobilized the thorax ( ribs).

Reformednurse 5 years ago

There probably isn't just one type that could help, but obviously straight relaxation massage probably won't do much good for getting to the source. Researched and more technical techniques such as myofascial release, structural reintegration, and others of that ilk are more likely to get to the root of the problem. Back problems are also sometimes related to money issues, and fear issues. Working on altering his perspective on this could be helpful. Hypnosis, imagery, and cognitive therapy could all help search out the root of the problem. Even if his original injury (auto accident, fall, etc) seems to be the cause, we often do hold tension in weak areas.

Also, a trip to a doctor to be sure the problem isn't spinal stenosis, which can be worsened by massage done inappropriately, is a good idea.

The fact his knees also bother him may be indicative his gait or posture is at the root of the problem. All are things to think about.

ChandraCastanza 5 years ago

Trigger Point Therapy!!

marciasmassage 5 years ago

I would definitely recommend some craniosacral therapy mixed with deep tissue massage. Hopefully there is someone in your region that mixes therapies like this. Make sure if you buy him a massage that the therapist is going to work on more than just his back, though. Both problems may be caused by tightness in his hamstrings (back of the upper legs) and so this will not be helped by only massaging the back. It might feel good but it won't fix the problem. Let me know if I can be of further help!
Marcia Reichert, CNMT, NCTMB

HarttoHeartHealing 5 years ago

During the massage I would use a combination of deep tissue and trigger point therapy. Does he respond well to heat? If he does, he might get relief from the pain with a hot stone massage. The hot stone massage can be very helpful in releasing tension patterns. One other thing he could try at home is thinking about his sleeping position. The best position for helping to relieve back pain is to sleep on his side with a pillow between his legs. The pillow should give support from his knees to his ankles.

Sources: http://www.hart.abmp.com

JanWolsey 5 years ago

I agree with most of the other therapists. A mixture of MFR, trigger point therapy and deep tissue massage should all help. Without seeing him and accessing the condition it would be hard to say how long it would take to treat.

BrianaAustin 5 years ago

I would use deep tissue if he can handle the presure, other wise i would start soft and go deeper as he can handle it. i would do some stretching of the legs ans shoulders. even though the shoulders dont hurt that much they still play a part but i would work on his lowback right on the problem area. smooth it out, get the knotts out. make sure the therapist does the presure to his preference. cause they might hurt him more then help. make sure he speaks up. i hope this helps you. if ur in huntington beach, i work in huntington beach. i can you out if you both would like.

PaigeLangford 5 years ago

Hello! Usually the massage techniques are customized for specific back pain, especially the lower back. A combination of Swedish, deep tissue and trigger point therapy are often used to help release tension in certain areas. What is your boyfriend's occupation? It may have something to do with his back pain if he is lifting, performs strenuous labor work, sits or stands for several hours at a time.

PhoebeBelk 5 years ago

I suggest deep tissue massage.

andys 5 years ago

Hi charleymarley, some people who have back pain also may have knee pain. In tuina massage the lower back control the kidneys , this represents the bones a tuina massage would work on the bladder channel and the du meridian. This would get the blood flowing to help move stagnant qi and replenish the muscles and release spasms to settle pain. The middle of the back is near the liver and spleen points these are important points for muscles and blood. Regular Tuina massage combined with Acupuncture would help this condition.

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