5 Main Causes of Back Pain — And How Massage Chairs Can Help
Have you ever experienced back pain? If so, you’re not alone. Back pain is one of the most common health complaints people have, with 8 out of 10 Americans experiencing back pain at some point in their lives. The main causes of back pain vary and include poor posture, heavy loads, strenuous activity or exercise, stress-induced muscle tension, and trauma.
While most back pain goes away with treatment or physical therapy, it can be annoying and disruptive to everyday life. Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer from back pain — massage chairs can help relieve your discomfort.
This article will delve into back pain, its main causes and symptoms, and how massage chairs can help you manage it.
Symptoms of Back Pain
Back pain can be anything from a constant mild ache to a sharp, stabbing sensation that makes it impossible to stand or walk. It can range from localized in one spot to radiating through the lower back and other areas.
Some people experience moderate to severe fatigue and pain, making simple tasks difficult. Others may find it difficult to bend or reach, while often, there is stiffness and lack of mobility.
If your back pain persists for three months or more, it is considered chronic and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause.
5 Main Causes of Back Pain
While back pain is not necessarily a serious health concern, it is still essential to know the leading causes of back pain so that you can take the necessary steps to prevent and treat it.
Below are some of the reasons why you may experience back pain:
Strain and Stress
Stress-induced muscle tension and strain are deceptively common causes of back pain, yet it can be challenging to know when you should be concerned.
Back pain can result from poor posture — for example, slouching when sitting at a desk or looking down at your phone for extended periods. Incorrect lifting techniques can also strain the lower back, such as picking up a heavy object from the floor without bending your knees.
Other types of physical stress can lead to back pain as well – anything from sports injuries to bumps and scrapes in daily life can create acute problems with our backs if we don’t take the necessary precautions.
Taking good care of our bodies rather than overloading them with unnecessary exertion and strain should be our number one priority in avoiding these issues altogether.
While there are many types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is one of the most well-known. Characterized by progressive joint damage caused by wear and tear on the joints from age or injury, it can lead to chronic inflammation and pain in the lower back.
The symptoms associated with this form of arthritis include stiffness in the lower back, soreness in certain areas, burning sensations, swelling around the joints, and general discomfort when moving.
In more sensitive cases where arthritis affects other body regions, like the neck or arms, further medical attention may be needed.
The back consists of various muscles, bones, and ligaments that can experience damage or weakness from injury or disease. This can lead to structural problems in the spine, like slipped discs (herniated discs), bulging discs, bone spurs, etc., all of which can cause back pain.
Slipped discs are particularly problematic as they often compress nerve roots in the spinal column, causing pain and numbness in the back and legs.
Sciatica is also a result of structural problems in the spine, often triggered by a herniated disc or a bone spur that compresses a nerve root near the sciatic nerve. This, in turn, causes pain to radiate down the leg.
Injuries and Accidents
Traumatic injuries from accidents can also cause severe back pain. These include car accidents, sports-related impacts, falls off of ladders or stairs, etc., which can all lead to something as minor as a muscle sprain to more serious matters such as fractures or disc damage.
In some cases, the pain may be immediate and severe, while in others, it may take days or even weeks before discomfort arises. Consult a healthcare practitioner to determine the best course of action.
Certain diseases can also result in back pain. Examples of these include osteoporosis, cancer, kidney stones, endometriosis, and spine infections such as spondylitis. Sudden pain should never be taken lightly, so if you ever experience consistent back pain over time with no apparent cause, it is best to consult a doctor immediately.
Some people are more at risk of developing back pain than others. Below are some of the main risk factors:
- Age: As we age, our joints and bones become more fragile, making us more prone to back pain
- Gender: Women are more likely to suffer lower back pain due to increased hormone levels during menstruation or pregnancy
- Obesity: Carrying extra weight can strain the back, making it more vulnerable to injury
- Smoking: Smoking can reduce blood flow to the spine and increase the chances of developing disc degeneration
- Sedentary Lifestyle: Sitting for long periods can lead to poor posture and back pain
- Strenuous Activity: Lifting heavy objects or engaging in rigorous physical activity can cause muscle strain and injury
When To Call a Doctor
If your back pain is accompanied by fever, numbness in the legs, or loss of bladder/bowel control, then it’s best to call a doctor for an immediate assessment.
Additionally, you should seek medical advice if the pain persists for more than three days despite lifestyle modifications or home remedies.
Blood work or imaging can help determine the root cause of your pain so that your doctor can create an appropriate treatment plan.
How Massage Therapy Can Help People Suffering From Back Pain
Massage therapy is an effective form of pain relief for those suffering from back pain. It can help increase circulation, improve posture, and reduce stress to relieve muscle tension in the back.
Patients may feel some discomfort during a massage as the therapist works to break up adhesions — tough knots that form along the spine caused by injury or repetitive movements — but this discomfort should be minimal and quickly forgotten with the resulting benefits of relieving pain and restoring range of motion.
Massage therapy can also include relaxation exercises and therapeutic stretching, which will alleviate physical pain and help relax your mind and promote healthy sleep habits, ultimately leading to improved overall health.
But what if massage therapists are not accessible? This is where massage chairs come in.
What Are Massage Chairs?
Massage chairs are an excellent way to experience the many benefits of a therapeutic massage without actually visiting a masseuse. They provide a relaxing and luxurious massage experience — an ideal way to decompress from the stresses of everyday life.
No matter your size, design preference, or desired features, there is a massage chair for you. Many models offer vibration, infrared heating, acupressure points, adjustable massage intensity levels, and sound therapy.
These massage chairs can work wonders on tight muscles and provide relaxation and soothing comfort throughout your body. Investing in a massage chair can improve your mental and physical state by combating back pain, reducing stress levels, and promoting relaxation.
Benefits of Massage Chairs
While massage chairs can be expensive, they can offer various benefits that will do wonders for your back pain.
Improve Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is vital in keeping us healthy, yet it’s often overlooked. It takes on the hard work of removing toxins, debris, and waste products from our body to keep it functioning at its best. Regular massage with a massage chair can assist the lymphatic system by providing fluid movement and drainage and improving circulation. This stimulates the removal effectiveness of waste material from your body.
Relieve Muscle Tension
Massage chairs provide a convenient and comfortable way to release muscle tension and improve flexibility — conditions that can contribute to pain. These chairs use rollers and airbags to gently massage the entire body and instantly bring a sense of relief.
Anytime muscles become tensed or overworked, they lose their elasticity, becoming stiff, unbending, and ultimately painful. Massage chairs help relax these tense muscles, allowing them to return to their normal state of flexibility while improving the range of motion and reducing pain.
Reduce Stress Levels
Massage chairs are incredibly relaxing — the warmth, comfort, and pressure settings will encourage your body and mind to let go of worries and pressures, reducing overall stress levels. Research has shown that massages can reduce the production of cortisol, a hormone related to stress.
This is the same hormone your body produces when you are in pain and it can cause inflammation, so reducing it helps reduce inflammation in the body.
A massage chair can relax and reduce stress levels frequently and conveniently, so you can handle life’s issues more clearly.
Boost the Immune System
Did you know that massaging your body can help boost your immune system? Research has consistently shown that massage therapy can improve the body’s natural defense against illnesses.
A recent study found that a 45-minute massage session can help to increase the number of lymphocytes in the body. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell responsible for helping the body fight off diseases.
The gentle massage from a massage chair is just enough to stimulate the immune system, helping your body fight off infections and diseases more easily.
Choosing a Massage Chair for Your Back Pain
Numerous massage chairs on the market cater to different needs and preferences. Consider the following factors to find a chair that meets your needs.
If you’re shopping for a massage chair, it’s crucial to establish a budget before you make a purchase. Knowing how much you can comfortably spend helps ensure you stay within your limit and don’t stretch your finances too thin.
Researching different models of massage chairs and their prices can also help narrow down your options so that when it comes time to buy, you know exactly which ones fit your price range. Factor in any taxes and delivery charges associated with the purchase, as these costs are often not included in the chair’s listed price.
Getting a good value for your money is essential when searching for the perfect massage chair, so taking proactive measures such as establishing a budget before buying can help ensure you get the one that meets all your needs without going beyond your means.
Features and Functions
Finding the perfect massage chair is no easy task, and it is essential to research before making a purchase.
When choosing a massage chair, consider all its features and functions: specific types of massages, intensity levels, and heating capabilities. Depending on what kind of massage you prefer — you may be partial to Swedish or Shiatsu — make sure you purchase one that has an appropriate level of intensity for your needs.
Some models also have various heated areas built-in or provide rollers that apply targeted pressure to specific areas, so consider what features you could benefit from when making your decision.
Lastly, if you are particular about the aesthetics of your massage chair, then consider its appearance before buying. Some chairs come in a wide range of colors, textures, and materials, so they can fit into any room or match any décor.
If you are a fan of leather, for example, you can find massage chairs covered in leather or faux leather. If you prefer a specific color scheme, there are many options to choose from.
Main Causes of Back Pain
A massage chair is an ideal way to eliminate chronic or temporary back pain. In addition to making you feel better, it can also improve your physical and mental function.
Shop our wide selection of massage chairs and find your perfect fit today!