According to medical experts, low back pain is the second most common reason why people visit their physician, only after visits for cold and flu. If you’ve ever suffered a backache, you know how difficult life can be when simple things like chores, sitting at a desk or even finding a comfortable sleeping position seem impossible. Unfortunately, conventional treatments are not always helpful.

A doctor may prescribe pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs for your lower back pain or even recommend invasive surgery. Other treatments may involve physical therapy or weight reduction as many cases of lower back pain are attributed to excessive abdominal weight and improper compensation when bending or lifting. It’s imperative that you learn proper lifting methods and perform exercises to strengthen the abdominals thereby reducing the stress on your lower back.

However, even with the proper care and prevention, some people continue to suffer from pain and their quality of life quickly diminishes. Fortunately, massage therapy has been found to be an extremely effective method for dealing with lower back pain. A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience concluded that “lower back pain is reduced and range of motion was increased after massage therapy” in a group of lower back pain sufferers.1 The group was compared to a group of similar patients that underwent progressive muscle relaxation.

The group that underwent 30-minute massage therapy sessions twice a week for five weeks reported less pain, depression, anxiety and improvements in sleep. Greater trunk movement was reported and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher. Serotonin and dopamine are responsible for feelings of calm and euphoria.