Massage can help relax tense muscles and relieve aches and pains. Massage therapists may use firm stroking movements up either side of the spine, fanning across the shoulders; circular thumb movements over the small muscles on either side of the spine may also ease discomfort. For the occasional, mild backache, a friend could massage you in a similar
manner or you can use the self-help technique described below.
Self Massage for Back Pain
Here is a technique you can do yourself. You need two tennis balls and a sock.
- Take a hot bath or shower.
- Do some gentle stretching such as yoga.
- Slide two tennis balls into a sock, tying off the open end of the sock so that the balls are touching each other.
- Lie on your back on the floor. Have the socks at hand and place them under the small of your back, one ball on each side of your spine.
- Take a deep breath and let your body relax into the balls. Rock your hips gently from side to side. Then adjust your body slightly so that the balls move up your back a few inches. Hold that position briefly, then take a deep breath.
- Wait until you feel a sense of softening or melting into the balls before you move them farther up your back.
Most people take about 10 to 15 minutes to work the balls up and down their back. If you have a particularly sore area on your back, spend some extra time with the balls touching that spot.
Do not do massage if you have a prolapsed disk or a spinal problem. Deep massage can worsen this condition.
See Also: Massage
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