It could occur because you strained your muscles, had an injury or have an underlying condition like sciatica, but lower back pain – no matter what its cause – can hinder regular function. If your work involves sitting for a long period of time and your posture isn’t right, you could easily fall prey to lower back pain too.
Rubbing pain-relieving ointments or taking painkillers on your doctor’s recommendation can relieve this pain, sure. But a study published in Pain Medicine in 2019 indicates that acupressure is a more effective and natural remedy for lower back pain, even when self-administered. The study found that the use of both relaxing, as well as stimulating, acupressure for 30 minutes every day relieved both pain and fatigue related to the lower back within six weeks.
This clearly suggests that giving yourself an acupressure massage for half an hour every day is an easy way to manage lower back pain without having to depend on medications.
How acupressure works
Most sources would tell you that acupressure originated in China as an extension of acupuncture. While acupuncture uses needles to stimulate pressure points to relieve pain and fatigue, acupressure does the same thing with fingers. Acupressure usually works in two ways – direct application and indirect stimulation.
In direct application, the muscles and joints which are stiff or painful are massaged and stretched out to relieve pain by increasing the blood flow. In the indirect method, areas of the body which are connected to the source of pain through meridians or energy channels are stimulated to relieve pain. These pressure points might seem completely unrelated from the direct source of pain, but the indirect method is also known to work like magic.
The best things about self-administered acupressure are that it won’t lead to addiction to painkillers, it’s free, and it’s quite easy to learn. It’s unlikely that you’ll apply excessive force or pressure during this practice, which means that the risk of injuring yourself is also low.
Where you need professional guidance is in learning what the acupressure points are and the technique to apply this knowledge with. Reach out to a trained professional to guide you with this until you get the hang of things.
If lower back pain is what ails you, you can easily touch and apply mild pressure to identify the direct sources of pain. Keep the following tips in mind while self-administering acupressure:
- The pressure you apply to massage should be deep and firm to stimulate the points properly.
- The movement of your fingers should be circular or up-and-down, and should be applied to the same point for at least a couple of minutes to boost blood circulation.
- It’s important to relax and be in a comfortable position while doing this. Closing your eyes and breathing deeply will also help.
- Repeating the massage as often as you want and as many times in a day you feel comfortable with is not going to harm you in any way. However, correcting your posture to reduce chronic stiffness is recommended.
- Lower back pain often radiates to the buttocks, thighs and legs too, so you might want to gently massage those areas as well.
For more information, read our article on Back pain.
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