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Do-It-Yourself Back Massage for Back and Neck Pain

Updated on December 20, 2016
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Writer, teacher, parent, musician, and nature freak. I have suffered from neck pain for years, and I'm always looking for solutions.

Self-Massage for Back and Neck Pain

Those of us who seek relief for chronic pain in the back, neck, and shoulders need options. This article is about a particular device that can provide real relief for that kind of pain. Self-massage solutions are affordable and easy to use, and offer an alternative to getting a massage. It would be nice to be able to get to a massage therapist every time your back goes out or a shoulder freezes up, but unless you are independently wealthy and have a job that doesn't require you to be somewhere during the day, you’re not going to be on the massage table every time you need a realignment. This article offers you ways to take care of yourself without spending a lot of time or money. These devices are available for you whenever you need them, and they can give you relief on your own terms.

The Kinesthetics of Neck Pain

A study in the Open Orthopaedics Journal, "Chronic Neck Pain: Making the Connection Between Capsular Ligament Laxity and Cervical Instability," discusses the persistent nature of neck pain and the continuing difficulty in finding a "cure." In the meantime, palliative therapies like massage are an affordable option for short-term relief. It's clear that your back and neck are not only full of nerves, muscles, and connective tissues, but they are also in almost constant motion. Even when we’re not in motion, the muscles and nerve fibers in our back and neck are mobilized and active, since they’re a part of our “upper core” that holds everything together. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to stop using your neck and back muscles. If your arms hurts you can put it in a sling or just not use it, but you are always using your back and neck muscles just to stand upright. For this reason, injuries and pain conditions in these parts of the body can be especially frustrating and difficult to heal.

My Own Neck Pain, and a Connection to Bad Moods

My own story with neck pain begins before I can even remember. Since high school, at least – over 30 years ago – I have had pain in my neck and upper back. Sometimes it’s faint, and sometimes it’s intense, but it’s really always there to some degree. I think there may be many others out there who have neck pain almost all of the time like I do. Sometimes it affects the way I act around other people, like my family. Sometimes I have a short fuse that is due to being tense and in pain, and I feel bad about it. It’s good to have some tools I can turn to to help me feel better.

Why I Love My Theracane

This is an interesting-looking item to be sure. It looks like something you would use to walk with, but what’s with all the knobs and handles? It’s also too short for most adults to use as a crutch. That’s because the Theracane is used to give yourself the best backrub short of going to a massage therapist. The handles and knobs are there both to give you a good grip, and to apply to the spot on your back or neck where you need some pressure. The Theracane works because it acts as an extension as your own hand or fist. With this aid, you can reach that perfect spot and really put pressure on it, if that’s what feels good. After a good, long session with the Theracane, you’ll feel like you just walked out of a massage therapy appointment.

It’s also virtually indestructible, easy to grip, easy to store, and best of all, it’s very affordable. I have given them as gifts throughout the years to the people in my life who also suffer with pain in the back and neck.

Chiropracty and Other Healing Methods

Some people swear by their chiropractor, and as far as that goes, what works for them works for them. I ditched my own chiropractor when she started telling me that she would be able to effectively treat my asthma with chiropractic adjustments. I had my doubts about this, and so I asked my MD. He was absolutely clear that she was wrong – if I wanted treatment for connective tissue and muscle pain, then it was reasonable to think that a chiropractor could help. But it was overreaching, he said, to think that manipulating “energy” could effectively change cell pathology or faults in genes or viral infections. For these illnesses, the most effective course, proven by the scientific method, is treatments shown to address the medical issue directly.

Can You Hurt Yourself with the Theracane?

No, not seriously, but you do have be a little careful. You can get a lot of leverage with this device, so take it slow and only do things that you know are mild and gentle. Once you master the Theracane, feel free to go for it – I often wind up with sore muscles in my arms from digging in with the cane. I get such good results that I hardly notice how hard I’m working.

Unseen Benefits of Controlling Pain

I mentioned how I tend to act when I’m in pain – grouchy – and I know I’m not the only one. A recent article in the San Francisco Gate reported on a Stanford University study that found evidence that chronic pain triggers a series of molecular changes in the brain that may sap patients' motivation. It makes sense to me, and it resonates with my experience of feeling unlovable when my neck pain is flaring. There’s no doubt that finding an effective and affordable way to control your chronic pain is important not just for your own state of mind, but for your connection to those around you. Your loved ones need you, and when you’re in pain you’re less available.

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Another Option for Self Massage

I myself do not own one of these, but my friend does, and I have spend some blissful moments sitting in hers. This is an affordable version of back massage chairs that can cost ten times what this one does. It's hard to describe to feeling from sitting in one. All I can say is that it's special. The benefit compared to the Theracane is that you don't actually have to do anything to get a do-it-yourself massage that feels great.

I Hope You Find Relief!

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    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 5 months ago from Central United States of America

      Yours is the first blog I have seen about the Theracane. I have one and agree with your comments regarding its helpfulness. I also have a full massage unit in a chair that is very relaxing, but for pain relief, the Theracane seems to be more helpful.

      Enjoyed reading your article!

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