Are you suffering from chronic back pain?
There’s a high chance you have considered (or have already begun) conventional treatments, including prescription painkillers or even surgery.
If you’re looking for a safer alternative to taking (potentially harmful) medication, floatation therapy is very safe and highly effective at relieving back pain – not to mention the countless other incredible benefits!
Keep reading to find out more about float tank therapy.
Can Float Therapy Reduce Back Pain?
Only one hour in a float tank (also known as a sensory deprivation tank) can be immensely beneficial both physically and mentally.
Besides using float therapy for stress and tension release, float tanks are often used in healthcare and military environments to promote deep relaxation throughout the body to enhance repair and recovery.
Another major benefit of floating is improved quality of sleep, thus reducing inflammation in the body, which is a key factor in easing pain.
Below we will take a look at the many ways that you can benefit from using a float tank – back pain doesn’t have to control your life.
How Can Float Tanks Alleviate Back Pains?
The float tank’s Epsom salt solution contains a high concentration of magnesium, an essential mineral with powerful anti-inflammatory properties and abilities to support the nervous system.
Those suffering from inflamed muscles and chronic back pain will find instant relief as the body quickly absorbs the magnesium into its cells.
When the body is under constant strain, the nervous system typically goes into overdrive – especially when pain is part of the equation.
Increasing your magnesium levels can assist with regulating the function of your nervous system and accelerating muscle repair, therefore decreasing your back pain.
Float therapy allows you to be in a serene environment, without any distractions or stimulation from the outside world, like light, sound, and even gravity.
Being completely weightless frees your body from the constant downward pressure (gravity) on your sensitive bones, joints, and muscles.
Being able to stretch out and relax your entire body in the float tank allows you to put your whole body into a healing, wellness-promoting position, easing any tension and pain you have been carrying.
Production of endorphins
Another amazing benefit of flotation therapy is the increase of endorphins (your ‘feel-good’ chemicals) in the brain.
Those suffering from chronic back pain also tend to struggle with their mental health due to the limitations of their bodies, which sadly, can also lead to depression.
Floating has been shown to boost endorphin production, thus promoting overall happiness and well-being, with the amazing benefit of reducing dull pain responses in the body.
If you tend to have trouble fully relaxing or getting good sleep because of your chronic back pain, you are not alone.
Float therapy allows you to feel a deep sense of relaxation, unlike anything you are able to feel at home sitting on the sofa or lying in bed. As a result, many people fall into deep meditation or even fall asleep in the float tank.
When you completely relax, your body’s cortisol (stress hormone) production decreases significantly. Lower levels of cortisol results in a calmer nervous system and drastically decreases your sensitivity to pain, therefore offering back pain relief.
Increased circulation and healing
While you float in the warm, soothing salt water solution, your muscles are able to fully relax and relieve tension.
This greatly improves blood circulation to all the tissues and muscles in your body, promoting faster recovery.
Having good blood circulation is an essential part of muscle repair – allowing torn muscle fibres to heal themselves and minimising pain.
Even after you have finished your float session, your body will continue repairing itself, providing long-lasting relief from inflamed muscles and back pain.
Floatation Therapy for Pain Relief: What Does the Research Say?
Are the benefits of flotation therapy backed by research?
Besides the thousands of positive testimonials from people who have experienced incredible success from sensory deprivation and floating regularly for both their physical and mental health, there are plenty of studies to back their claims.
For pain relief specifically, a study was performed to determine whether float therapy and restricted environmental stimulation techniques (REST) are effective.
Thirty participants suffering from chronic back and/or neck pain were randomly assigned to a control group or experimental group. The study found that those in the experimental group that was taking part in float sessions over a 3-week period had significantly reduced their chronic pain.
In addition, those who participated in float therapy also showed elevated optimism, reduced anxiety and depression, as well as better sleep quality.
This research is extremely promising for those looking at using float therapy to aid in the treatment of their chronic back pain.
Is Floatation Therapy For You?
Wondering if you should try float therapy?
If you suffer from any of the following pain or nervous system conditions, you can expect to feel significant improvement after the very first float session:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic inflammation, causing back, neck, or other muscle tension
- Pregnancy-induced back pain
- Tension or stress headaches and migraines
- Recovering from injuries or surgeries
No matter how big or how small your problem is, floating can make the world’s difference to your general well being.
Not to mention, it’s an extremely safe and effective form of therapy that will provide you with numerous health benefits (more than just relieving your back pain).
Does float therapy help with nerve pain?
Float therapy is often used to support the treatment of physical injuries like pinched nerves by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, lowering cortisol production, and increasing blood circulation, which allows for a relaxation response and pain relief.
Furthermore, several studies have shown that magnesium promotes peripheral nerve repair by decreasing inflammation, thus having a beneficial effect on those suffering from neuropathic pain.
How often should you do floatation therapy?
If you are new to floatation therapy, we recommend doing at least 3 sessions in the float tank to feel the full benefits.
Monthly sessions can be highly effective at providing relief from chronic pain, promoting increased energy, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving both mental and physical health.
How soon will you feel the results of floatation therapy?
The full deep relaxation effect from float therapy will usually not set in until about an hour after the float session.
It’s relatively common for the benefits of floating to last for a few days, and once you reach three floats, this often builds up to a whole week, with noticeable feelings of being stronger, calmer, and experiencing less pain.
After floating, you can expect to feel any of the following:
- A degree of relaxation and general happiness
- A deep meditative state, with intense mental clarity and focus
- Incredible levels of energy
- A whole lot of joy and euphoria
Although you will feel noticeably better after just one session in the float tank, it often takes a couple of float sessions to truly feel the positive effects that floating has to offer.
If chronic back pain is getting you down, whether it’s due to excess stress, fibromyalgia, scoliosis, or perhaps an old injury, floatation therapy has significant potential to provide you with the relief you’ve been longing for.
Many people have been able to cut down and completely change how they rely on modern medicine like strong opioids to provide relief from their chronic pain – instead, using float therapy as a natural and effective alternative.