Massage is wonderful for relieving all kinds of back pain and I recommend therapeutic massage for almost every type of physical pain.

Why?  Because it works!

Massage is old medicine.  Very old.  It’s used all over the world for a wide variety of ailments as a medical treatment.  I even met a doctor from a European country who was trained do to massage in medical school.

But sometimes when you go to a massage therapist your back pain doesn’t go away.  Maybe it feels better for a short time, or even just while the therapist is working on your painful area.  (Or not.)  But, it comes right back.  Or, it is back within just a few hours.

When that has happened with any of my clients, I told them what that meant.  That meant I was wrong about the cause of their symptom (their pain.)  It means I didn’t work on the muscles or soft tissue that was the true cause of their pain.  That means we have to try again.  You see, there can be more than one cause.

The unfortunate thing is, many massage therapists only know how to do a relaxation-type massage.  Relaxation or stress-reduction massages can be really great, but…

When you have pain, a relaxation massage probably won’t give you much benefit.  In fact, you may be very disappointed.

So, if you have upper back pain and want relief you will have to find a massage professional who “knows his or her stuff.”  Someone who can assess WHY you are having pain in your upper back.  Someone who can figure out a “treatment” plan to help you become pain-free.

If your massage therapist rubs and presses on the painful area (and some will do this for the whole hour) and your pain doesn’t go away, then that therapist doesn’t “know his stuff.”  And, if that therapist can’t figure out why your muscle won’t release (relax) then she doesn’t “know her stuff.”

And, if she says it’s the worst “knot” she has ever seen, she should not be in the massage field at all.  Her job is to help you feel better, not worse.

When your painful muscle spasm won’t release, it can mean only one thing.

The cause of your pain is somewhere else, not where your “hurt” is.

A skilled massage therapist will probably be able to figure out and treat (with massage or pressure therapy) the causes of your pain, not just hammer away on the painful area or muscle spasm.

What’s the best way to find a highly skilled therapist who will be able to help you get rid of your pain?   Word of mouth.  If you ask around, and someone says, “This is the massage therapist who got rid of my pain.  I think he (or she) is awesome and I recommend them highly,” that is a good clue.

That could be the therapist who can help you get rid of your back pain!

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