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The Back Pain Guide: Unveiling Your Path To Relief With Our Top 4 Massage Treatments

Updated: May 22


Struggling with Back Pain? The Back Pain Centre Can Help! Get Expert Advice on the Best Type of Massage for Relief, Ease Back Strain from Coughing, Find Tips for Upper Back Pain After Sleeping, and Locate a Back Pain Specialist Near You.

How Common is Back Pain?

In the UK, a third of all long-term sickness absence from work, and nearly a fifth of any sick leave, is caused by musculoskeletal disorders, which is mostly lower back and neck pain, according to the Work Foundation. Research such as the paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, seems to confirm an epidemic of untreatable back pain. It has become a huge worldwide problem. It costs billions to our countries and affecting an estimated 540 million people at any one time.

It’s not always “as bad” to treat it as a serious health issue. Because the pain goes away with painkillers or sometimes stops on its own- until the next time.

Although it isn’t a life-threatening condition, when severe back pain doesn't go away, living with nagging pain does a lot of disservices. It takes your energy away, affects your mood, affects your productivity, and affects your ability to enjoy life. It can stop you from doing things you love: your favourite sports, long walks outdoors, fun and games with your kids.

Because of the risk of trauma and the cost, many doctors endorse the cautious use of medication and surgery. So they take non pharmacological and noninvasive treatments as a first-line treatment, suggesting physical therapies along exercise and psychotherapy.

What activities often cause Back Pain?

  • Heavy Lifting 

  • Prolonged sitting in an awkward position

  • Highly physical jobs 

  • Obesity

  • Extreme tallness

  • Strain from Coughing

Why Massage is the Best Remedy for Back Pain?

While exercise is fundamental and it is the only way to strengthen muscles, it is also important to stretch and relax those muscles that have become shortened due to 'bad posture'.  Try to maintain a balance of strength and flexibility.

Massage therapy can effectively help to loosen the back muscles. It alleviates spasms and muscle soreness, which all can lead to tightness that may cause pulls. 

In fact, massage therapy has been used for centuries to relieve muscle tension and improve circulation.

A therapeutic massage which combines deep tissue, positional release and stretching techniques (like Shiatsu and Thai massage). This brings the musculature into balance and release the trigger points associated with the discomfort. 

"The massage therapist applied deep pressure to specific points around the centre of my back to target the source of my pain and i felt immediate relief!" - John

What Science Say

A research published on the July 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that massage is an effective treatment for lower back pain. In some cases, its beneficial effects may last for six months or longer.

The results were fascinating. Almost two-thirds of the people receiving weekly massage said their back was significantly improved or gone altogether. While only one-third of people who receive the usual care found a physical improvement.

Another Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2011 found that a weekly massage for 10 weeks relieved patients’ severe lower back pain and improved functioning at least as effective as medication and exercise.

The upside is that massage has no side effects, unlike meds. The benefits of massage therapy continued to last up to 3 months after the study ended.

So, let's look at the 4 best types of massage therapy for upper and lower back pain, understand their similarities and differences. So you can book the treatment that suits you most.

What is the best type of massage for upper & lower back pain?

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is definitely the most popular type of massage at our back pain centre. Because it can target specific pain-related tissues, ligaments, and joints, thus treating injuries and chronic pain.

Deep tissue massage firm pressure to the muscles and connective tissues below the skin's surface. This helps to relieve pain by freeing up the muscles to move properly.

A few studies, such as a 2014 research, found that deep tissue massage’s effect can be likened to the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen, for those suffering from chronic lower back pain.

While drugs only help alleviate the symptoms, Deep tissue massage restores proper muscle function and mobility. Therefore its beneficial effect is long-lasting.

Swedish Massage

Not everyone has a high pain threshold. So some people suffering from upper and lower back pain decide to try a gentler approach and choose a relaxing Swedish full body massage. This type of massage therapy focus more on superficial body regions. But it can still target those muscles responsible for back strain.


It is especially recommended to those people who prefer lighter pressure and a more relaxing treatment. Thanks to its profound relaxing effect, the tension in the body releases, thus improving any symptoms of back pain.

Cupping Therapy

Cupping therapy is a form of traditional Chinese and Middle Eastern medicine. People have practiced it for thousands of years to address back pain, including the specific issues of back strain from coughing and upper back pain after sleeping.

This therapy consists of applying round suction cups on sore parts of the body. This allows to break up muscle knots, stimulate the nervous system, potentially reducing pain signals and providing relief.

For example, Coughing repeatedly can strain the muscles in your back. Cupping helps increase blood flow to the affected area, promoting healing and reducing muscle tightness. While it can also help draw out inflammatory fluids that contribute to pain and discomfort.

Cupping may leave temporary marks on the skin, which are harmless and fade within a few days


Tuina Medical Massage

With a long history, Tuina is a traditional Chinese medicine form of massage.  In China Tuina is considered one of the best non-invasive massage therapies for back pain. Because it focuses on external manipulation techniques like kneading, pressing, and mobilization, avoiding needles or medications.

The effect of Tuina is attributed to regulating spinal balance. It relaxes the soft tissues, tendons and joints. It improves their mobility and the circulation of blood, fluids and the body energy (Qi, pron. chee) in those areas.

Tuina can be a great option for back strain from coughing or upper back pain after sleeping. Both coughing and awkward sleeping positions can cause muscle tension and pain, particularly the upper back and the centre of the back.

By improving the general circulation throughout the body and directly stimulating the pressure points of the meridian system, tuina can also significantly relax these tight muscles, alleviating pain and discomfort.


The back pain specialist near you

Looking for a back pain specialist near you? Look no further! At A to Zen Therapies, our expertise extends beyond relaxation massage. In the years, we've become a renowned back pain centre. Our London specialists help clients every day to find relief from various back issues. Chronic or recurring back pain is among the top three reasons our clients book a treatment with us.

In our practice, using real patient cases, we found that most people who have had upper or lower back pain for years tend to think that it is something that they have to live with. But it hasn't to be like that.

Our back pain specialists can help you to regain the mobility you deserve. They will tailor the treatment to your needs, while providing effective self-management tips. This empowers you to manage your pain daily and get the most out of your treatments.

We hope you have now a better idea of what would be the best massage therapy to help you find relief from upper and lower back pain!

1 Comment

aijaz ali khushik
Dec 19, 2023

When it comes to massage therapy treatments for relieving back pain, there are several effective techniques to consider. Here are four popular massage therapy treatments that may help alleviate back pain:

1. Swedish Massage: Swedish massage is a gentle and relaxing massage technique that involves long, gliding strokes, kneading, and circular movements. It helps promote circulation, reduce muscle tension, and relieve general back pain and discomfort.

2. Deep Tissue Massage: Deep tissue massage targets the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It uses firm pressure and slow strokes to release chronic muscle tension and knots. Deep tissue massage can be effective in addressing specific areas of back pain and promoting better muscle function.

3. Trigger Point Therapy: Trigger points…

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