Chronic or intermittent back pain is one of the most common ailments in today’s society. Often it is a result of a life habit, such as a sleeping position or sitting in a certain way. For many to comes on unexpected and has a tendency to linger, which can be quite frustrating thus bringing more tension and stress into the body. Luckily, there are a couple simple ways that you can help reduce pain, stiffness and tension in the back, without pain pills. Specifically, using reflexology and acupressure on the feet has been known to reduce, if not alleviate completely, discomfort in the back.
Reflexology for Relieving Back Pain
Reflexology is a non-intrusive health therapy, based on the theory that different points on the feet, lower leg, hands, face or ears correspond with different areas of the body. Practicing foot reflexology is a great way to help reduce back tension and pain. Here are some commonly used foot reflex points:
- Soles of the feet, area around the heel and ankle – massage this whole area and the soles of the feet to alleviate pain in the lower back.
- Inner edge of the foot – reflex points in this area correspond to your spine, and activating these points can treat the lower and mid back.
- Tops of the feet just beneath the base of the toes, as well as the soles – massage these reflex points when treating the shoulders and upper back.
Acupressure Points for Relaxing Back Muscles
Acupressure is another method of relieving back pain, using the same pressure points as acupuncturists, but without the needles. In acupressure, also called shiatsu, you use your hand to apply pressure at very specific points of the body. Here are a couple acupressure points on the feet to help with back pain:
- About a thumb’s width below the bottom of the big toe is the metatarsal bone which joins the big toe and the second toe. This is the acupressure point used for alleviating muscular pain and spasms. It is also referred to as the sleeping foot point. To help you find this point, slide your finger in the depression between your big toe and the second toe until you are near where the tendons meet, then press where it is most sore. Apply pressure for one to two minutes, while inhaling and exhaling deeply. When you are done, gently decrease the pressure and massage the area briefly.
- The other acupressure point for back pain is called sitting foot point. It is situated at the bottom of the foot, so first clean your feet and sit down in a chair. Using the opposite hand, find the tender spot in the middle of the foot, right below the ball of the foot. Apply pressure with your thumb, and then rub your thumb down the mid-line of the foot from heel to toe. Finish with a massage of the pressure point area to help your muscles to relax.
When using acupressure and reflexology, it is best to repeat the massage on both feet. Both can be practiced on your own, although it is always a good idea to seek a professional licensed practitioner, especially if you are unsure of what to do or if your back pain is severe.