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Can massage therapy help lower back pain?

Lower back pain can be very debilitating and cause a lot of days to be lost from work. According to the NICE guidelines massage therapy can help to manage lower back pain if used as part of an overall approach:

"Consider manual therapy (spinal manipulation, mobilisation or soft tissue techniques such as massage) for managing low back pain with or without sciatica, but only as part of a treatment package including exercise, with or without psychological therapy."

The approach I use is holistic and uses soft tissue release from my training with the College of Osteopaths and also clinical massage therapy techniques from the Jing Institute of Advanced Clinical Massage in Brighton. I can give no guarantees nor can I make any grand claims because of ethics. However, it is worth giving massage therapy a try. In order to work with you I like to ensure that people have first seen their GP and been referred to physiotherapy. We have the NHS and although slow this means that you can receive a medical diagnosis, rule anything more sinister out and also make use of your entitlement to patient services as part of our healthcare system. I can then see you and also may signpost you to other treatment such as osteopathy. Usually it can be useful to have a massage as we can help release a lot of the soft tissue first which can then allow other practitioners to work more easily. I will also work with you to see if there are ways to manage it through helping other muscles work more effectively and to help release tension, lower stress and also consider posture and how you may move. I may ask my clients to consider yoga, Pilates or consider working with a personal trainer after speaking to their GP.

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