Back to the Basics
Monthly massage therapy has helped this 32-year-old woman find
relief from back pain
WHEN KARA MAYNARD went to Walt Disney World in
June, she came home with more than memories of her family's trip.
She came home with intense back pain.
"It was my entire lower back," she says. "It was hard to stand,
hard to walk. If I even sat for too long, I'd be
Assuming it was the long days of walking in the theme park and
the jostling of the rides, Maynard turned to a Massage Envy in
Vadnais Heights, Minn.
For about a month, Maynard saw a massage therapist once or twice
a week-encouraged by the fact that after her first session, she
noticed a difference-and incorporated chiropractic therapy as
"The thing that really helped was the hot stone
massage," she says. "It was a miracle. After I had that, I was
pain-free for a week. That was huge!"
Still, Maynard knew something wasn't quite right. She saw her
doctor and had an MRI. The 32-year old from White Bear Lake, Minn.,
learned she had a degenerative disk and arthritis in her spine. And
while massage could help relieve some of her symptoms, she also
needed six weeks of physical therapy.
Today, Maynard continues with back exercises at
home and a monthly massage regimen.
Back pain will affect about 80 percent of us at some point in
our lives, and massage is one tool for combating the pain. To get
the most out of your massage therapy
sessions, Maynard recommends providing your therapist with as much
information as possible.
"Be upfront and honest about your problem areas," she says. "I
did, and it's amazing what they can do. Plus, if you have specific
needs, let them know when you make your appointment, so that you
can get the individualized treatment you need."
-By Stephanie R. Conner