Are you, or have you ever suffered from upper back pain? I have been a licensed and nationally certified Massage therapist for 12 years. This is the most common problem I worked on. Lower back pain which can be the cause of sciatica, came in second in my practice. I owned my own business which expanded to two different locations before I retired. I would get many doctor referrals, and some doctors would send their patients to me because the patients were in so much pain. They were sent to me to alleviate some pain prior to their back surgeries, which in most cases, turned our to be unnecessary.
I also kept a book of testimonials in both offices. Clients would take the time to write down how massage therapy helped them, over their others attempts to get pain free with surgeries, other kinds of therapy such as physical therapy, acupuncture, other homeopathic remedies, and of course a wide variety of pain killers.
All of these supposed remedies, other than massage therapy, only addressed the symptoms, not the problems. To get a problem to really go away for good, the problem must be addressed. Thank God for the symptoms though, because if it weren’t for the chronic tension headache, we do not stop, as we are our own prideful Superman, handling all of our problems all by ourselves. It is a battle of our ego and pride against all common sense.
Then there are those among us who are addicted to being martyrs, the victim and the drama complexes. Some of us are blindly addicted to these mental crutches to illness, without even realizing it.
The quickest, and least invasive, drugless therapy to solve this problem is massage therapy. If you are feeling pain to the level you are describing, I would suggest at least 30 minute sessions, concentrating on your problem area, or the entire 30 minutes in the prone (face down) position.
Stress causes lactic acid to form in the muscles. Think of the expression, “I feel I am holding the weight of the world on my shoulders.” Also think of this, the stomach holds food, the lungs hold air, but there is absolutely no place in the body that stress can go. What happens is that stress is stored in the area of the body that is being most overworked, as lactic acid. The lactic acid invades the muscles creating pain, which is the knots in the muscle you are feeling. If the knots get large enough, they press down on nerves and create even more pain, or referring pain shooting to other places as well.
The massage works like the old washing machine ringer, squishing out all that lactic acid our of the muscle and into the blood stream. In most cases, you will feel 50-100 percent better before you leave the office. It is important to drink lots of water in the 24 hours following a massage in order to flush the toxins out of the muscles. If you do not drink the water, the lactic acid will again be absorbed back into the muscles, creating pain again.
Muscle memory and the stressful conditions which created the painful spot tend to continue after the massage, which is why the protocol is to get at least two, 30 minutes sessions in one week, for three weeks. This is an investment in your health. BAnd it beats putting drugs into your system, and invasive surgeries, which I have personally witnessed do not work most of the time.
What normally happens is that after spending the dollars to feel better, and I promise you, you will feel better, you are drawn to make healthier choices in your life to avoid taking on the stress. If you are like most clients I’ve seen, you will also create better boundaries for yourself, becoming like Teflon, or repelling magnets, deciding to refuse to be drawn into the chaos, or decide on a better way of handling it.
I am retired now, and have no financial gain on this suggestion I am recommending to you. I just know it works. I also know massage therapy is not something everyone likes, believe it or not. But, we also do not like surgeries, and taking ibruprofin and Tylenol, which by the way have adverse effects on your liver and kidneys. Massage therapy is the most natural path of least resistance which heals the body.
Find a good massage therapist. Take time to investigate so you do not get a brand new therapist, or a therapist who does not have the techniques you need. You are looking for someone who is adept at deep tissue, neuromuscular, sports massage, not just Swedish massage. If they tell you, “I give a really good/great Swedish massage,” run for the hills. That is code for, “I may have been trained in deep tissue massage for an hour or two in my Swedish training, but I find Swedish is all you need.” That is also code for, “I want to give you a massage, but I do not like giving deep tissue massage because it is too deep for the clients, and too hard on my body because deep tissue massage is demanding,” which is really code for, “That’s not in my skill set, I have not had 32 hours of neuromuscular massage training, so really Swedish is all you need because I cannot provide more.” You are looking to make this appointment easy for you, not easy for the massage therapist.
That’s my advice.