Massage Video: 8 tips for working with low back pain

I hope I’m not alone when I say that I’ve had more than one client stand up with more low back pain than they started with. I reduced the frequency of this over the years, but it took a lot of fiddling and small changes. More importantly, I found that some clients would respond well to a change, while it would do nothing for others.

So, I kept expanding my toolbox!  Here are my 8 tips for working with clients with low back pain:

I’ve got the pillow-under-the-abdomen trick in there (along with a playlet about how to explain it to the client), along with my favorite new toy: The unbelievably huge bolster for under the knees while the client is supine. Both prone and supine positions can exaggerate the normal lumbar lordosis; add in some pressure, and it can create an unpleasant environment for the low back. Both the abdomen pillow and the giganti-bolster bring the client into slight trunk flexion, which seems to be less provocative over the course of an hour.

Another big change was less emphasis on the QL region. I found that lots of pinpoint work on the quadratus lumborum, even if it felt good to the client while on the table, could have a rebound effect once they stood up. Once I started thinking more about the pelvis, I started having better outcomes.

Let me know what you think, and about tips and tricks of your own!

Comments? Stories? Tell me stuff.

  1. Great read, thank you Ian. Such natural, simple posts that we can all relate to. I too have found moving away, although not entirely 😉 from the QL hot spot area has been hugely beneficial in post treatment results for lower back discomfort. I worked with a client the other day who was suffering from a somewhat solidly fused, iron-like right QL- after working the entire hip circumference we had a slightly more pliable QL and less lumbar pain.
    Thanks again for continually sharing your knowledge and experiences.