Massage Tutorial: 8 tips for low back pain

Got massage clients with persistent low back pain? Here are 8 tips for working with them in a way that will reduce pain, and reduce the likelihood of them standing up with more pain or stiffness.
1:12 Using a pillow under the abdomen
1:48 Communicating with your clients about hip/glute work
2:31 Limiting direct work with the QL region
3:20 Massage techniques for the lumbar region
4:54 Working with the hips/pelvis
8:49 Including the lateral pelvis
9:32 Work with related structures: Hamstrings, quads, etc
10:41 Use a big big bolster while client is supine:
13:07 Limit the duration of massage in the prone position
13:25 Try different positions, such as side-lying or seated

If you can only make one or two changes, I recommend working with the hips more than focusing on the QL region, and limit the amount of time spent with the client face-down. In my opinion, positioning seems to be a bigger determining factor in how the low back feels following a massage than the specific techniques used.

Let me know what you think, and what you’d like to see next! And, as always, I’d love to hear your tips and tricks.

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10 thoughts on “Massage Tutorial: 8 tips for low back pain

  1. Emily Kennedy

    So guilty of overdoing the QL area. love the abdomen pillow!!!! I do have a question-request. I have many clients that find laying supine extremely painful, can not breath. I have tried tons of different positioning buy find little relief for them. The usually state neck,shoulder, and chest sensations.

  2. AskAlice24

    I noticed that your draping is quite loose. I do that also, but my massage manager told me it makes the client feel weird. If you go under the draping. She showed me how to do a tighter "dipering" method. But that means lifting heavy legs. I'm not that big at 5'5. Whereas she is shaped like an ox

  3. erin owens

    I really appreciate this video, I have a lot of clients who come to me with low back pain and it is tempting to hyper focus on that area, but I too also work the gluteus medius area and hamstrings etc in order to loosen the tension in that whole area. A less invasive way as well to work on hip rotators is using NRT, neural reset therapy, as it's very quick and super effective. I like the idea of the large bolster and the pillow under the abdomen, so thank you for lending those ideas!

  4. Jesse

    Good technique, but I would say it's important to improve your draping? Possibly lock down the sheet under the leg, so the patient has no worries about exposure 🙂

  5. sari taylor

    i love this interaction you are doing it helps me a freat deal to see the master in action. thankyou so much for this vid ian

  6. Its Bambi

    I love your videos because they help me to relax. I'm in pain like all the time (mostly my back, shoulders and my right knee) I would love to get help for it but I always felt worse than before after visiting massage places…

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