Wellness treatments can stretch and soothe the lower back, and can be just as important for maintaining healthy muscles as the vigorous exercises that strengthen them. Though there is little scientific evidence that proves bodywork is better than any other treatment or form of exercise, many researchers believe that massage work has definite advantages for maintaining the physical condition of your lower back.
A traditional Swedish massage is a great place to start, but you can also consider these alternative methods that may also increase blood flow and circulation in the lower back.
With structural integration (aka Rolfing) hands-on bodywork relieves tightness lodged deep within the fascia, the thin casing surrounding your muscles. Structural integration balances and realigns these tissues in the lower back and the surrounding structures.
Structural integration can reduce muscle strains in the lower back and elsewhere, ultimately resolving pain in the lower back. Because rolfing is no quick-fix, you may need as many as 10 sessions in order to notice improvements—but the benefits are long-term.
During a Thai massage, deep kneading is combined with prolonged periods of intense pressure on the muscles of the body. Thai massage has been studied for its ability to relieve low-back pain in participants. The treatment also improved mobilization.
An eastern massage-like technique, acupressure increases blood flow and circulation by stimulating pressure points found on and near your body's connective tissues. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, triggering these channels along the hands, elbows and feet can release the body's energy flow—known as your qi—which then releases tensions in the body.
Traditional Chinese acupuncture has long been used for target lower back pain. Researchers have found up to a 33 percent improvement in pain and a 12 percent improvement in functional ability. Acupuncture works by targeting pressure points and releasing energy blockages, thereby reducing any tightness that may be held in the lower back.