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An upper back massage is used around the muscles located nearby the mid and upper areas of the spine. An upper back massage involves various different techniques that are used to help relieve muscle tension, pain and tightness. An upper back massage encourages blood flow around the body, providing the muscles with nutrients and oxygen. Increasing the temperature of the muscles aids in the maintenance of healthy muscles. Massage therapists at Physio.co.uk use upper back massage to help relieve pain, tightness and tension.

What techniques are used in an upper back massage?

A wide range of techniques are used during an upper back massage. Techniques used during an upper back massage include:

Acupressure is used during an upper back massage. Acupressure is a technique performed on trigger points and muscular knots using the fingertips or thumbs. When pressure is placed on muscular knots, blood flow to this area becomes restricted. Muscular knots are broken down and softened as the pressure is applied. The breakdown of muscular knots results in a decrease in pain. When pressure is released from trigger points and muscular knots, the body's natural healing process is activated as it senses damage in the body. An increase in blood flow is delivered to the muscles so they are supplied with more healthy nutrients and oxygen.

Frictions are commonly used during an upper back massage. Frictions are performed using the fingertips or thumbs and involve applying a specific pressure across muscle fibres. Frictions help increase blood flow around the body by increasing the temperature of the muscles. Frictions help soften and break down collagen fibres built up in muscles that can cause the muscle to become restrictive. Frictions also increase the temperature of the muscles. An increase in temperature improves muscle elasticity and reduces muscle restriction created by collagen fibres.

An effective technique used during an upper back massage is myofascial release. Myofascial release is performed using flat hands and fingers. Hands are placed on the back and pressure is slowly added. Hands move slowly around the back, spreading out the fascia. Fascia is a layer of thin and tough connective tissue below the skin. Myofascial release relaxes and loosens tight muscles as it increases the temperature of soft tissues and improves tissue elasticity and flexibility. Myofascial release also improves the blood circulation and the lymphatic circulation.

Commonly used during an upper back massage is skin rolling. Skin rolling involves picking up and rolling the skin between the fingers and thumbs. Skin rolling helps loosen tight muscles and fascia. Fascia is a thin layer of connective tissues located beneath the skin. When the temperature of muscle is increased, the elasticity and flexibility of the muscles is also improved. An improvement of tissue elasticity and flexibility therefore results in a reduction of muscles tightness, stress and tension. Skin rolling also helps improve the blood circulation around the body which aids in the maintenance of healthier muscles.

Effleurage is used during an upper back massage. Using flat hands and fingers, the pressure ranges from light to firm on the upper back. Effleurage increases the temperature of muscles, increasing muscle elasticity. Increasing muscle elasticity reduces muscle tightness and stress and therefore reducing pain. Effleurage is also used to prepare the muscles for more intense techniques that involve more pressure. Preparing the muscles reduces the chance of injuries worsening or new injuries from occurring.

Customer reciving an upper back massage while in a relaxed position in Manchester Physio Clinic

When can an upper back massage help?

An upper back massage can help on many different occasions. Occasions when an upper back massage can help include:

Acute pain is treated using an upper back massage. Acute pain can include pains such as muscular ache and fatigue. An upper back massage aims to relax muscles, relieve pain, tension and stress. Muscles in the upper back increase in temperature resulting in an improvement in muscle elasticity and flexibility. An improvement of elasticity and flexibility reduces muscle tightness, tension and stress, therefore relieving pain. Pain can also be reduced by the stimulation of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system consists of thin tubes called lymph vessels that run around the body. The lymphatic system aids in the removal of toxins and waste products, contributing towards muscular fatigue.

An upper back massage can often help with relaxation. When muscles become tight or tense they can become very painful causing stress. An upper back massage helps reduce muscle tightness, tension and pain in the upper back. During an upper back massage, muscles increase in temperature, improving tissue elasticity which reduces tightness and tension in the muscles. An increase in temperature also causes an increase in blood circulation. When circulation is increased it increases relaxation hormones called serotonin and dopamine into the body. A decrease in the stress hormone called cortisol also occurs. Reducing muscle tightness, increasing relaxation hormones and decreasing stress hormones all result in an increase in relaxation both physically and mentally.

Stress in the upper back area is commonly treated using an upper back massage. Too much stress can cause the body to suffer mentally and physically. An upper back massage helps relieve the tension and stress that is built up within the muscles. During an upper back massage, a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol occurs. A decrease in cortisol enables the body to mentally relax and become unstressed. Physically, the body is relieved of stress as tension is reduced from within the muscles. Tension is reduced as the temperature of the muscle increases and improves muscle elasticity. An improvement of muscle elasticity reduces muscle tension and relieves any pain therefore enabling the body to relax.

Surgery can leave negative effects on the body. Muscles in the upper back can become tight and full of tension due to being restrictive and unable to move properly. Tension in the upper back area can cause muscle spasms and pain. An upper back massage aims to relax the muscles within the upper back and reduce muscle tightness and tension. Tension and tightness is relieved as the temperature of the muscles increases and elasticity and flexibility of the muscle is increased. Reducing muscle tightness and tension relieves the upper back of pain and discomfort. Stimulation of the lymphatic system also occurs through an upper back massage. The lymphatic system helps remove waste products and toxins that have built up in the muscles. An efficient lymphatic system helps fight infections by killing any harmful bacteria that may be left in the body after surgery.

Customer reciving an upper back massage while in a relaxed position in Manchester Physio Clinic

What are the benefits of an upper back massage?

There are wide-ranging benefits of an upper back massage. The benefits of an upper back massage include:

An upper back massage helps benefit the body by relieving tension in the muscles. Tension in the muscles is when muscles stay contracted and do not relax. Muscle tension can result in pain if not treated. An upper back massage gets deep into the muscle tissues and helps the muscle relax and therefore relieve tension. By relieving tension, pain in the upper back is significantly reduced.

Increased healing is a benefit gained from having an upper back massage. During an upper back massage, blood circulation is improved and the lymphatic system is stimulated. Improving the blood circulation increases more nutrients and oxygen being delivered around the body. The nutrients delivered around the body help make the muscles stronger and healthier. Stimulation of the lymphatic system increases the removal of toxins and waste products. The lymphatic system also helps fight infection. Improving the lymph flow will increase the amount of white blood cells delivered to the injured area. White blood cells create cells called antibodies that fight and kill harmful bacteria and viruses. Improving circulation of blood and lymph flow therefore increases healing.

An upper back massage helps decrease pain. Pain in the shoulders can occur for many reasons such as; muscle tightness, tension, stress or injury. An upper back massage helps relax all muscles that are tight or tense as a result of injury, overuse or poor posture. Pain is created as receptors located within the body identify problems that are occurring. Once identified, the receptors send a message to the brain telling it that there is pain. Once the message is received, the brain then sends out signals to the nerves in the body which cause pain. An upper back massage aims to interfere with the message sent to the brain so that the nerves do not get a signal to create pain. Interfering with the message sent to the brain therefore reduces pain. An upper back massage also increases muscle temperature. Increasing muscle temperature improves tissue elasticity and flexibility around a joint. Increasing elasticity and flexibility reduces muscle tightness and tension and therefore decreases pain. An upper back massage also improves the circulation of blood. Increasing the blood circulation provides the body with more oxygen and healthy nutrients. Increasing oxygen levels provides the muscles with more energy. An increase in energy reduces pain caused by fatigue.

Improved posture is a benefit gained through an upper back massage. When muscles in the upper back area become tight and tense, they often cause the posture to change as the muscles become constantly contracted. If posture is not correct, muscles can become tighter and create more pain. An upper back massage helps relax the muscles in the upper back so that posture can be returned to normal without any feeling of pain or discomfort therefore improving overall posture.

Summary

An upper back massage concentrates mainly on the mid and upper muscles located around the spine. Techniques such as acupressure, frictions, myofascial release and skin rolling are used to relax muscles and improve circulation. An upper back massage aims to help with acute pain, relaxation, stress and post-surgery. The benefits of an upper back massage to the body include decreasing tension, increasing healing, decreasing pain and improving posture. Our massage therapists at physio.co.uk effectively use an upper back massage to help manage muscle tightness and tension and help with relaxation.

How can I arrange a upper back massage?

The easiest way to arrange an upper back massage at Physio.co.uk is to email us at office@physio.co.uk or call us on 0800 033 7800.

Alternatively if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

We offer a 7 day service and provide home and clinic appointments.




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