I just had an encounter with a new client that is extremely common.
First of all, it was difficult to get her to agree that massage may be able to help her. This happens all the time because I am not the typical massage therapist, not a fluff-n-buff as I call it. I am a Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapist, meaning that I have much more medical training than the average massage therapist.
Then she wanted to ‘work through it’. This is a major misconception. Our bodies do a fantastic job of taking care of themselves. We don’t need to help a cut heal, the body does that for us. We don’t think about each individual step, the body takes care of it. We don’t think to blink when a bug flies into our eye, our body takes care of that. When something is wrong with this amazing machine the least we can do is take care of it.
When something is wrong with this amazing machine the least we can do is take care of it.
She arrived with a pain in her upper back on the right side, as depicted by the yellow in the picture to the left. She thought she did it during a specific move in her exercise class. During our discussion of her health history she mentioned that is the only thing wrong with her, otherwise she if very healthy besides the osteoporosis.
As I always do, I started by working on the unaffected side, her left side. No pain found, that’s good. I moved to the right side of her back, still no pain found. She was astounded, I, however, was not. As I checked her muscles she continued explaining when the pain occurs. In doing so it was evident to me that the pain was not in the iliocostalis and/or longissimus muscles but probably in the iliopsoas (ĭl”ē-ō-sō ǎs).
The first two flex and extend the neck and trunk. This client mentioned that it hurts most when she twists, different story. The iliopsoas flexes and rotates the hip and thigh and rotates the pelvis at the hip. All that to say her pain was not with bending but in twisting. That’s a different muscle group all together.
I had her flip over and touched the iliopsoas and that was it! She was amazed!
See, most massage therapists would not even look past the back muscles. In the rare case that they did, they probably would not know how to reach the deep muscles that attach to the spine. Not all therapist are equal, check the credentials of the person who is going to give you your next massage. Your body deserves it.
Not all therapist are equal
Next time you feel pain, stop. It is our bodies’ way of telling us something is wrong. Next, contact a professional, you are always welcome to call me, you don’t have to be a client. I’ll even talk to your massage therapist, after all, it is my duty to inform people of what causes discomfort if possible.
My office is 630-851-1412 or email me at Annie@AtriumWellnessMassage.com.