You can take an active role in controlling your back pain with a DIY massage, which is available to you any time for little to no cost.
Whether you're new to DIY massages or an old pro, these 3 easy tips can help enhance your DIY back massage experience:
1. Use ice to enhance pain relief
Incorporating ice into your DIY massage is a simple and natural way to enhance the pain relief from a massage. Cold therapy can alleviate your pain by reducing inflammation and swelling, and it also functions similar to a local anesthetic by numbing your sore tissues.
One option for incorporating ice into your massage is to purchase a freezable massage roller ball. These balls, sold by a number of companies, are filled with various types of solutions; and they can be kept in your freezer until needed.
To help relieve your lower back pain, lie on the ground and slide the ball between the floor and your lower back. You can then move yourself around until you find a tender spot, and then slowly apply pressure.
If you are at the office, you can perform the same routine as above; but instead of lying down simply slide the ball between your lower back and chair.
2. Purchase a hand-held massager
If you have upper or lower back pain, it can be tiring to use your hands for a DIY massage that lasts for more than a few minutes. Additionally, there can be spots on your back that are hard to reach; and so you have to contort your body into uncomfortable positions. This is why it may be worth your money to invest in a hand-held massager.
Here are a few tips to find an electric massager that is right for you:
- Hand-held massagers come in different power levels. A mini-massager might do the trick for minor aches and pains, but for serious symptoms you may need a more powerful model.
- More expensive does not necessarily mean better. Read online reviews; and also make sure the device has a 30-day return policy.
- Ask your massage therapist if she or he can recommend an electric massager. They may also be able to provide discounts to their clients.
- Consider spending more money and investing in a massage chair if your pain is severe. This way you can find relief while you get your work done.
3. Utilize a foam roller for your upper back stiffness
If you have tight upper back muscles, a foam roller is a great option for enhancing a DIY upper back massage. These rollers are inexpensive and come in varying levels of firmness depending on your needs.
Here is a simple massage routine you can perform with a foam roller at your home or office:
- Begin by lying on the foam roller so it is roughly in the middle of your back. Your feet need to be flat on the ground and your knees bent.
- Place your hands behind your head, and slowly roll your body over the foam roller so it moves toward your head.
- Stop when you reach an area with a tight muscle, and slowly move back and forth over it.
- You can target a specific area for 30 to 60 seconds, and then move on to the next problem spot.
It is important to note that massage therapy, DIY or otherwise, is not the right treatment for every instance of back pain. If you have not done so already, consult with your physician prior to beginning, or continuing, a massage regimen.