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!

2 thoughts on “Massage Video: 8 tips for working with low back pain

  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.

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