What do stress, aging, and disturbed sleep have in common? They can all lead to back pain and decreased quality of life. Back pain is debilitating for many, often limiting mobility and preventing people from maintaining a productive and active lifestyle. Nowadays, chronic back pain has risen to epidemic proportions. This has been attributed to busier schedules and a decrease in time reserved for exercise and relaxation.
Pain professionals are now seeking alternative methods to manage chronic pain, especially for back pain. After extensive research and many studies, they have come up with a solution that provides long-term relief – and one that doesn’t depend on expensive and addictive drugs that could harm your health. If you’re in this situation (i.e. experiencing back pain) and not getting long-term relief, here are the ways in which ﬂoatation may help you in getting rid of your back pain:
During ﬂoatation, you relax, ﬂoating on body temperature warm water with no pressure points on your back on any other part of your body. The lack of gravity in the ﬂoatation tank helps your spine ﬁnd its natural curve gradually, causing decompression in the vertebra of your spine. This process relaxes your muscles and eases your back pain.
Relaxation through the weightlessness of ﬂoating creates a deep relaxation state that causes a decrease in the production of the cortisol hormone. High levels of cortisol can over-activate the nervous system. Consequently, when there is less cortisol, the nervous system can calm down allowing a decrease in the feelings of pain. Ultimately this can result in noticeable relief from back pain.
Floating speeds up the production of endorphins. Endorphins are the “happy chemicals” released by the brain. When you suffer from back pain, it impacts and limits your daily life routine, which oftentimes impacts mood. Floating encourages the production of endorphins which promotes a sense of well-being. Endorphins are also known to dull pain response.
Spending some time without the weight of gravity helps your back and shoulders enjoy healthier and comfortable positions. After some sessions, you may carry over these healthier positions into your day-to-day activities, easing pain in your back. During weightlessness, your joints and bones will be relieved from the pressure of gravity, allowing you to rest and recover.
Floatation tanks contain several hundred pounds of Epsom salt which contain large amounts of Magnesium. Magnesium acts as an anti-inﬂammatory agent when absorbed in high levels. As a result, ﬂoating and by extension the absorption of magnesium can relieve back pain caused by the inﬂammation of muscle tissues, decreasing pain throughout the body.
There are a couple of studies by renowned experts conﬁrming the effectiveness of ﬂoating in the management of back pain. A study conducted by Anette Kjellgren (Karlstads Universitet), Ulf Sundequist, Torsten Norlander (Karolinska Institutet), and Trevor Archer (Sapienza University of Rome) conclude ﬂotation ‘may offer an effective method of alleviating low to moderately severe pain induced by muscle tension.’
If you are experiencing back pain, it’s the right time to book an appointment and see how ﬂoating can help you!
Kjellgren, Anette & Sundequist, Ulf & Norlander, Torsten & Archer, Trevor. (2001). Effects of Flotation-REST on Muscle Tension Pain. Pain research & management : the journal of the Canadian Pain Society = journal de la société canadienne pour le traitement de la douleur. 6. 181-9. 10.1155/2001/768501.
Turner, J. W., Jr, & Fine, T. H. (1991). Restricting environmental stimulation inﬂuences levels and variability of plasma cortisol. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 70(5), 2010–2013.