I was in a most unfortunate car accident in November of last year that has changed my life and my perspective on how I can best lead my life and treat my clients. I have had significant back pain, herniated discs and my quality of life has diminished. I should be out hiking or kayaking, enjoying a birthday party not asking for Netflix recommendations because I am stuck on the couch. But those of you with back pain already know this.

When we consider the fact that most adults will experience back pain at some point, and many will be temporary or perinatal limited by back pain, it’s surprising that we have so few long-term interventions that work well. Noninvasive options for managing back pain include, chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, and massage. Medications range from NSAID’s to opioids, tend to be effective but long- term use can be problematic.

Those who need short to medium term relief, it is found that massage therapy is one of the best investments. I know, it’s an investment in your health. It’s cheaper to pay for a co pay for meds than the cost of a massage. However, it will not treat the cause of the pain, just mask it.

One person’s back pain may be specifically tied to a structural anomaly in their lumbar vertebrae, another’s person’s problem may be tied to an initial injury that may have subsided, but have left other pain promoting factors.

Neuromuscular Massage Therapists, such as myself, have been educated to look at the whole body system connectively, not just one the one source of pain. I look for structural abnormalities that will contribute to pain and will be resolved, but also the bio psychosocial approach that addresses behaviors that can contribute to pain. We forget how important touch can be to overall healing.

If massage can help a person be more physically active, the long-term outcomes will more likely be positive.

I rely on massage, not only to manage the pain, but also to reduce the overstimulation of my nervous system, which the pain has caused, leading to spasms and additional pain.

I have a comprehensive treatment team which includes and spine specialist, chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, vitamins, massage, and caring and supportive co-workers. I am investing in my long-term health. I am worth it, and you are too.