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When you have back pain, you don't just feel bad - you also lose sleep and suffer from other symptoms. Learn about the best massage therapies for relieving back pain.


Low back pain has become one of the most common symptoms in today's society prompting patients to seek treatment, especially those between 35 to 55 years old.

Massage therapy’s efficacy for lower back pain is well known and it is also often recommended by doctors for people with back problems.

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

Some research such as this on in the July 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that massage is an effective treatment for lower back pain, and 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.

Different types of massage therapy have been used for centuries to relieve muscle tension and improve circulation.

In this article we will look at the 4 best type of massage therapy for low back pain and help you to understand their similarities and differences so you can book the treatment that suits you most.


Deep tissue massage is probably the type of massage that is mostly recommended when someone is experiencing low back pain, as it is usually used to treat injuries and chronic pain.

Deep tissue massage involves deep pressure applied to the muscles and connective tissues below the skin's surface. It targets specific pain related tissues, ligaments and joints.

It can help athletes recover from injuries and prevent them from getting injured again. It's used to treat sore muscles after exercise, improve flexibility, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Whether you are an athlete, suffering from arthritis, or are pregnant, there are benefits to deep tissue massage therapy that can help you.

Few studies, such as this 2014 research and this other one, 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 restore proper muscle function and mobility, therefore its beneficial effect is long lasting.

Deep tissue massage involves quite or very firm pressure as pressure is one of the tool we use to access and break adhesions that are deep under the skin, relieving pain and freeing up the muscles to move properly.


Not everyone has a high pain threshold, so some people suffering from lower back pain decide to try a gentler approach and choose Swedish massage. This type of massage therapy focus more on superficial body regions, but it can still target those muscles responsible for lower back pain. Swedish massage therapist use a technique called kneading which aims to increase circulation and stimulate nerve endings in superficial layers of muscle, thus relaxing them.


It is especially recommended to those people who prefer lighter pressure and a more relaxing treatment. It is very common to fall asleep during a Swedish massage, and thanks to its profound relaxing effect, the tension in the body releases, thus improving any symptoms of lower back pain.


Cupping is a form of traditional Chinese and Middle Eastern medicine that people have practiced for thousands of years to ease back pain, neck pain, headaches and other problems.

Cupping therapy consists of applying round suction cups on sore parts of the body. The placement of the cup creates a partial vacuum, that draws the skin and layers of muscle into the cup and stimulates muscles and blood flow, while relieving pain. It is believed that the suction allows to break up muscle knots and bruising that's not visible, besides opening pores and circulation, thus helping to clear lactic acid and toxins.


In clinical studies, patients with back pain experienced a 61% decrease in pain after receiving dry cupping therapy!

The effectiveness of cupping therapy may seem increased when combined with other therapy techniques such as Sports and Deep Tissue Massage, as the lifting effect provided from the cups works synergistically with the downward pressure application of manual massage. It also work wonderfully in conjunction with Acupuncture.

Cupping therapy is nowadays more and more popular thanks to the visible cupping marks we see on many professional athletes who keep choosing this therapy to enhance their sport performance.


With a long history, Tuina is a traditional Chinese medicine form of treatment and is one of the common nonsurgical methods to treat lower back pain in China.

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

Tuina Medical massage differs from Western massage therapies (such as Deep tissue and Sports massage) because practitioners can use it to treat a range of specific health conditions while also boosting your musculoskeletal health at the same time.

By improving the general circulation throughout the body and directly stimulating the pressure points of the meridian system, tuina can also significantly sustain the functions of the internal organs.


Many clinical reports have confirmed its effectiveness, especially when combined with health education and self-management exercise at home.

Tui na Chinese Medical massage for lower back pain is particularly good for sciatica and any type of tension affecting the legs and their mobility. Working on the full length of the back and legs can be either relaxing and reinvigorating. We start with a general relaxation and then we progress in specific areas based on what we find in terms of tensions, contractions, deficiency etc in different areas of the body, providing the support needed.


You are unique & your treatment should be too

At A to Zen therapies we know very well that trying something new sometimes it can feel a little daunting at first, so rest assured that we take that to heart. During your first appointment we will make sure we do an in-depth consultation where you can share a detailed history of your symptoms and lifestyle, so we will be able to truly tailor the treatment to you, based on your precise needs and concerns. We’ll also make a recommendation for follow-up care with your best interests, budget, and whole-person wellness in mind.

Book today your first appointment, achieve your desired sport performance and release aches and pain with our signature deep tissue massage City of London!

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

monica pineider massage therapist in london

Hi, Thanks for reading our blog! I'm Monica: founder of A to Zen therapies! I love being a massage therapist and   I strive to support you guys feeling looser, stronger & more positive day after day! I am here to share all my best tips to help you get even better results from your massages with maintenance, natural health and wellbeing advice. 

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