Can Massage Help Your Back Problem?
For most of us, the answer is probably 'yes', since massage is non-invasive and considered very low risk for most people. Massage therapy is becoming more widely accepted in the medical community as a credible treatment for many types of back pain and/or as an adjunct to other medical treatments.
Massage in general is good for relaxing aching or tired muscles and to release stress. In particular with back pain relief, massage techniques help to reduce soreness and soothe the tired back muscles. Massage works on different levels; it improves blood circulation thus aiding better blood flow and oxygen to the muscles, it also relaxes the muscles and releases endorphins that makes one feel good and reduces back pain.
Massage to ease tiredness and soothe lower back muscles:
When the body is tired and the lower back muscles are strained due to overuse these mild massage techniques help. Using both the thumbs, apply gentle kneading pressure along the muscles of the spine, taking care not to run them over the spine. The thumbs should move in tiny circular motions going in an upward direction and wherever knots or tightness is felt gently kneading it away until they disappear. Then move downward to the small of the back area and gently knead in the bony area of the lowest point of the backbone. This helps to soothe the tightness and relieve mild back pain of the lower back.
Massage to relieve muscle spasms:
This type of massage requires an expert therapist and is not meant to be done at home. This is a sophisticated massage technique aimed at muscle injury, reducing spasm of the muscles, of the lower back that are the cause for the pain. In this form of massage the therapist alternates the pressure applied to the muscle experiencing the spasm. The therapist uses fingers or knuckles with varying intensity to relieve the injury or spasm. The therapist follows the lead of the patient who directs him to intensity of the pressure felt. Although it can be mildly painful in the beginning the patient has to inform the therapist if it’s very painful. The patient is required to also communicate to the therapist if the technique is helping in reducing the pain or if it is making it worse in which case the therapist abandons the massage or decreases the pressure intensity. The increased blood flow helps reduce the spasm.
Although massage is relatively safe, it is always advisable for clients to first check with their doctor before beginning massage therapy or any other treatment. There are some contraindications for massage therapy, such as (but not limited to): recent surgery; infectious skin disease, rash, or unhealed wound; varicose veins; and osteoporosis.
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How to sit at a computer
Good sitting posture at your workstation means your shoulders are relaxed, your feet are flat on the floor, and you can sit up straight to do your work. If you work in an office and use a computer, you can avoid injury by sitting in the right position and arranging your desk correctly.
Follow these tips:
Support your back
Avoid back pain by adjusting your chair so that your lower back is properly supported. A correctly adjusted chair will reduce the strain on your back. Get one that is easily adjustable so that you can change the height, back position and tilt. Have your knees level with your hips. You may need a footrest for this.
Adjust your chair
Adjust your chair height so that you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the floor. This can help prevent repetitive strain injuries. Your elbows should be by the side of your body, so that the arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint.
Rest your feet on floor
Your feet should be flat on the floor. If they’re not, ask if you can have a footrest, which lets you rest your feet at a level that’s comfortable. Don't cross your legs, as this can cut off circulation and cause hip problems.
Place your screen at eye level
Your screen should be directly in front of you. A good guide is to place the monitor about an arm's length away, with the top of the screen roughly at eye level. To achieve this you may need to get a stand for your monitor. If the screen is too high or too low, you'll have to bend your neck, which can be uncomfortable.
Using the keyboard
Place your keyboard in front of you when typing. Leave a gap of about four to six inches (100 mm - 150 mm) at the front of the desk to rest your wrists between bouts of typing. Your wrists should be straight when using a keyboard. Keep your elbows vertical under your shoulder and right by your side. Some people like to use a wrist rest to keep their wrists straight and at the same level as the keys.
Keep your mouse close
Position and use the mouse as close to you as possible. A mouse mat with a wrist pad may help to keep your wrist straight and avoid awkward bending. If you are not using your keyboard, push it to one side if using the mouse a lot.
Avoid screen reflection
Your screen should be as glare-free as possible. If there’s glare on your screen, hold a mirror in front of it to identify the cause. Position the monitor to avoid reflection from overhead lighting and sunlight. If necessary, pull blinds across the windows and replace ceiling lighting with table lights. Adjusting the screen's brightness or contrast can make it much easier to use.
Working with spectacles
People with bifocal spectacles may find them less than ideal for computer work. It's important to be able to see the screen easily without having to raise or lower your head. If you can’t work comfortably with bifocals, you may need a different type of spectacles. Consult your optician if in doubt.
Make objects accessible
Position frequently used objects, such as your telephone or stapler, within easy reach. Avoid repeatedly stretching or twisting to reach things.
Avoid phone strain
If you spend a lot of time on the phone, try exchanging your handset for a headset. Repeatedly cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can strain the muscles in your neck.
If you still feel stiffness in your shoulder or lower back, regular massage helps to relieve your pain.
Come to Oberon Remedial Massage!
Fatigue and massage
Fatigue is an ailment that probably every person has experienced at one time or another. Although common, it is not always a cause for concern since it often goes away after some rest and relaxation. The problem is that fatigue can be a symptom of a disorder known as CFS or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. People who suffer from CFS frequently complain of extended periods of extreme fatigue with seemingly no perceivable cause or reason.
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome include prolonged and unexplained feelings of tiredness, muscle and joint pain, headaches, sore throat, insomnia, painful lymph nodes, forgetfulness, and impaired mental functions. Although the disorder is experienced by both sexes, it is more common among women aged 40 to 50. To this day, there is no known cure for it, although symptoms can be treated.
Massage is one of the most recommended types of alternative therapies to treat the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It has proven beneficial and effective for some clients in minimizing anxiety and restlessness and in improving sleep quality. Massage is also a good option for clients with CFS who are not well enough to exercise because physical manipulations of the skin and muscles help promote good circulation.
Another common massage technique used for the treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is deep tissue massage. This technique targets the muscle tissues, which are located several layers below the skin surface. Deep tissue massage utilizes increased pressure and slower movements in order to stimulate the capillaries found in the soft tissues. It is also very effective in improving blood circulation.
Probably one of the most elusive aspects of massage therapy when used to treat chronic fatigue is its intangible effect on the overall feeling of well-being of the client. When used with the right techniques, massage can be very helpful as means to treat the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and improve the physical and mental state of the client.
Most men may need encouragement to come in for their ﬁrst massage, but after only a few treatments, many people start to realize just how beneﬁcial it is to take care of their bodies. It is not a luxury or just a spa treatment, it is a legitimate medical treatment to help your body function optimally at work, home, and play.
Imagine about your car and the maintenance that you do for your car. You take your car in for oil changes and regular maintenance so that it won’t break down at inconvenient times. The same goes for your body: you need to feed yourself balanced food, get regular exercise, and get treatments like massage, physio, medical check-ups to make sure everything runs smoothly. It is horrible when the body breaks down just when you need it most. So, you need to keep it healthy and ready for anything.
There are some key benefits and what massage can help you with:
1. Increase your joint mobility and flexibility
2. Improve blood circulation to your muscle for better performance
3. Reduce muscle tension and aching
4. Improve recovery of soft tissue injuries
5. Reduction of stress and anxiety
6. Promote better sleep and bowel movement
7. Lower your blood pressure
If you have a physical job with a lot of lifting or working in tight awkward positions massage can keep your body balanced and healthy and able to keep working. A job that has a lot of lifting will fatigue the muscles of the back, even when you are lifting properly and especially when the worker gets too casual and starts lifting improperly. When the muscle fatigues they will get very tight and painful. This will lead to the joint being less supported and then things like disc herniations happen.
If your job involves a repetitive posture or movement the muscles of that movement will get overworked and will be stronger and tighter than the other side. This leads to body imbalance and can lead to postural issues, joint range issues, eventually joint wear and arthritis. Jobs with repetitive motions often lead to tendinitis issues which take a lot of work and time to heal properly.