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Why are massages not helping my back pain?

Your back may not just be tired or sore, you may be injured.

Back pain is a complicated injury that requires the skill of an experienced and qualified physiotherapist to diagnose exactly what is going on.

In many occasions a back massage may not relieve your pain, in those instances it is best to go see a physiotherapist who can diagnose specifically which structure in your back is causing the pain.

The physiotherapist can diagnose if it is the underlying joints or discs of the back are creating the pain. Generally this will feel like a dull ache but it can also be a sharp pain. To relieve this joint dysfunction or disc deformation physio’s use a technique called joint mobolisation, this is a massage for the joints. Gentle pressures on the joints will give you that “good pain” feeling. This in conjunction with a lovely heat pack generally feels great on a stiff so back. These professional techniques, acquired and mastered over years of study, are far more effective than your regular “massage”.

Other pain could be caused by the ligaments that provide stability to the joints of the lumbar spine, one such ligament is the iliolumbar ligament. This sits just above your pelvis and takes enormous loads when running or transferring weight from one leg to another in sport and dancing. The best way to release this ligament is to give it myofascial release. This is a powerful technique that will release the tension from the ligament and in conjunction with heat again will definitely reduce your pain.

Back pain can also come from the nerves of the spinal chord. The neural system is highly complicated and requires specialist knowledge to reproduce and then release the pain. Neural glides are key technique used to release nerve pain in a back.

Finally, distal pain drivers can also create pain in a back. More commonly known as compensations. It is not uncommon to find tight leg muscles creating back pain. Only an experienced physio can recreate and reduce your back pain from these distal structures. This is when an experienced physio comes into their own. An experienced physio will work with their client to determine what is driving their pain and then implement specific treatment to release the pain.

Your back may not just be tired or sore, you may be injured. Back pain is a complicated injury that requires the skill of an experienced and qualified physiotherapist to diagnose exactly what is going on.