How to Give a Back Pain Massage at Home for Pain Relief

Relaxed lady after back massage treatment

A back pain massage is a way to relax the tense muscles of the back, improve blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, and sleep quality along with relieving stress. This back massage improves the overall well-being of the person while giving back pain relief. 

Being a physical therapist myself, I suggest that this back massage must be performed in a gentle way to ease the backache that arises due to strained muscles or excessive work fatigue. When done right and with some stretches and hot packs and suitable massage oil/ointment, the back massage is a very fruitful way to ease back pain at home. 

However, if you are suffering from a known spine disorder like a prolapsed intervertebral disc, severe ligament sprain, or osteoporosis, etc, then you must ask your healthcare professional before trying this massage

How to give a Back Massage to Ease Pain

Position – Make the person lie on their stomach in a comfortable position. Both hands should be on the sides and you can either add a pillow under the forehead or the person receiving the massage can simply rotate her/his neck to one side. 

Clothes – It’s not necessary to remove the clothes and use the oil, however, if you have time then this is the ideal scenario. Otherwise, you can also give this massage with clothes on. 

Oil or Ointment – Many pain-relief Ayurvedic oils are available in the market and they are pretty effective in inducing relaxation and providing pain relief. You can also use a pain-relief ointment but you need to wash your hands thoroughly as it stings before giving the relief. If you want to use oil as per your dosha, then please refer to this Ayurveda massage article

Massage Strokes – Now the most important part, if you are not a qualified massage therapist or professional, then don’t apply pressure to the spine. Steer clear of that and we need to massage the area around it. 

  • Start from the lower back and keep one hand over another to increase the amount of pressure (as shown in the image). Then apply pressure from your palm near the lower back area and move it in circular motions with gentle pressure.

    back massage technique
    Hand on Hand back massage technique
  • Move your way upward on one side keeping these circular motions on. 
  • Go up to the shoulder blade and work around with gentle pressure. 
  • Now move towards the shoulder and lift the skin like you are picking up something and leave (refer to image). Do it gently as shoulder muscles are among the tightest ones. Rolling and pick-up technique for back pain relief
  • Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the spine. 

Hot Pack – Now give the hot water bottle to the person and make him/her lie in a comfortable position. This hot pack is very important to relax the sore muscles and to further release the endorphins to treat pain.

Note – If the pain persists, then seek a professional’s advice for Deep Tissue Massage.  

Massage Techniques for Back Pain

You can use these techniques for back pain and work around as per the person’s preference who’s receiving the back massage. Use these techniques in the most gentle way possible to do no harm.

  • Circular Motions –  Make your hands and the person’s skin as one unit, circular motions should be able to move the skin as well as your hands in one direction together. Clockwise movements are preferred. 
  • Palm Pressure – Reinforce one hand over another to make the pressure firm and reap more benefits.
  • Kneading – You can do this with your knuckles but it is not tolerated by all. So make sure the person you are giving a massage to, is happy with the kneading. 
  • Rolling – You can either pick up the muscle mass and drop or pick it up and make it roll forward. This comes with some practice and is painful for sore muscles. 

Self Massage For Back Pain 

women using back pain massager

Well, when you are at the receiving as well as the providing end then follow this simple technique to ease that nasty back pain – 

  • As per the Healthline massage article for the back, Tennis balls under the mid back can be an excellent way to massage your back on your own to relieve backache. You can do this while standing as well. 
  • You can use foam rollers too instead of tennis balls.
  • Make sure you use a hot pack after the massage to enhance its effects.
  • You can also use a back massager that comes with lots of other perks as well. They have heat settings as well.  They are best for desk job workers, tired moms, and those who need to keep their necks down for longer times such as jewelers, cobblers, and other precision-hand workers, etc. 

Things to Consider Before Giving Back Massage for Pain Relief

  • No direct pressure on the spine should be applied in order to avoid any blunder or injury to the spine.
  • More bed rest can do more harm than good as the back muscles become more sore and stiff but excess work is bad too. 
  • Creating a work-life balance and knowing your limits are good to protect your back from any injuries.
  • Try these back pain exercises to strengthen your back muscles and avoid any further incidences of back pain. This one is tried and tested by me and I do these daily to go on with my day more efficiently!

Try these back pain massage techniques and don’t forget to share this article on your social media to help someone in need. 

Back massage for back pain relief, a lady suffering from back pain

Do Read our most popular article Buccal Massage to stop aging

P.S – this article may contain some affiliate links that may help earn me a commission if you make a purchase using them. It won’t be at any extra cost to you, If you are buying, thanks for that if you are not, thanks for reading. 

This article is suggestive and is not an alternative to expert medical advice, please consult your healthcare provider before opting for any new treatment techniques. 

Dr. Pratishtha (P.T) is a Physical therapist (orthopedics) by education. She loves Nature, Skincare, Organized Spaces, Researching, and Holistic Healthcare. Whenever She is not working, she is Definitely watching Netflix and procrastinating on reading a book! Find her on Linkedin.

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