Because there are acupressure points all over your body that can do wonders for back pain.
From that dull ache between your shoulders after a tough day, to the radiating pain from your lower back, knowing these acupressure points for back pain and all over your body really can make a difference!
What IS Acupressure?
Think about acupressure as acupuncture without needles. Its history is very similar, and it works under similar principles.
If you’ve ever put your fingers to your temples when you’ve had a headache or dug your thumbs into your lower back as you stretched, then you’ve already started using acupressure points!
Acupressure is at least 2,000 years old, and may even be 5,000 years old. The premise is that by putting pressure on certain points of your body, you can relieve pain – often in completely different parts of your body.
While there is overlap between the points used in acupressure and acupuncture, unlike with acupuncture you can perform acupressure at home, by yourself – or at least with the help of your spouse.
The Hows and Wheres of Acupressure
Easing back pain by using acupressure points is far easier than you may think. Some points may require a tennis ball, but really, all you need is your fingers, your thumbs, and maybe a friend to reach the harder to reach places.
The goal is to exert firm, consistent pressure for two to three minutes on whichever point you’re working. Sometimes, you’ll just press steadily. Other times, you’ll rub. The key will be the same though – that firm, consistent pressure.
So let’s get to work –
Acupressure Points, Head-to-Toe
While acupressure points for back pain don’t have to be in the back, some of them are. It’s fine if you want to start by focusing on these, but don’t be afraid to branch out to the others as well.
1. Middle of the shoulder blade. You may need some help reaching this first one. Or, you can put a tennis ball in the toe of a sock or stocking, hang it over your shoulder, and lean up against the wall. To find the acupressure point, start on your spine and then move a few inches to the right or left, until you’ve found the middle of your shoulder blade. That’s where you’ll want to put the pressure. This spot will help relieve tension in the shoulders and pain in the lower back.
2. Stomach. One of our favorite acupressure points for back pain is simple: it's your stomach. This acupressure point is found about two fingers below your belly button. Pressure here is supposed to help strengthen the abdominal muscles, which can help alleviate back pain.
3. Halfway between ribs and hips. This is another spot where you might need help releasing an acupuncture point to help with back pain, but it’s worth it. Have your helper find the bottom of your ribs on your back. Then find the top of your hips. The acupressure point you’re looking for is between those two places, on either side of your spine. Use consistent pressure with both thumbs, right there to relieve lower back pain and tension.
4. Center of your back, directly above your buttocks. This area contains several acupressure points that will help your back pain, so it’s easier to work with. Pressure anywhere from your hips inward to the center of your back will be effective. Plus, this acupressure point helps with back pain that radiates into the buttocks and hips.
5. Alongside the Achilles tendon. Reach down with your left hand and take a hold of your left Achilles tendon. See where your thumb is? That’s the acupressure point you’re looking for to relieve back pain and neck stiffness. The good news is that you don’t have to hold that particular position. However you’re comfortable putting pressure on that spot will work.
6. Between your toes. You need to be barefoot for this one – and may need some help, depending on how flexible you are. There’s a bone that joins the big toe and the next one. That’s your pressure point. Press on it for a minute to three minutes to ease back pain.
7. Bottom of your foot. I would be willing to bet you’ve used this acupressure point before, just maybe not due to back pain. Stay barefoot and simply run your thumb firmly from the ball of your foot to your heel. Not only will it make your feet feel good, it’ll help your back, too!
8. Between the thumb and forefinger. This is a short one, but it’s effective. Take ahold of the fleshy part of your thumb joint, between the base of your thumb and your index finger. Hold pressure for ten seconds. It will ache or twinge, but that means you’re in the right place. Let go for five seconds, then repeat a couple more times. Believe it or not, this acupressure point impacts back pain, as well as the others!
Combining Acupressure with Other Treatments
One of the best aspects of using acupressure points for back pain is that you can also use other treatments.
Unlike some medications that you have to be wary of interactions, acupressure is safe to use with other pain relieving steps.
Consider working any of these acupressure points along with deep breathing or meditation exercises for double the back pain relief.
You can also use heat and/or ice ~ whichever makes you feel better ~ in conjunction with acupressure. And, of course, for almost immediate pain relief, turn to topical pain relievers like Soothanol X2 when you’re done with acupressure or in between sessions.
Don’t be scared of acupressure just because it isn’t a pill or a prescription. Using acupressure points for back pain really can work if you’ll give it a try.
After all, you’re never too old to learn something new!