Back pain is one of the most common health issues that make people miss work for doctor visits. It is also a leading cause of disability worldwide.

Eight in every 10 adults will suffer back pain at some point in their lives. This type of pain can’t usually be traced to a particular event and often occurs sporadically. Ancient practices suggest that massaging specific pressure points on your feet can heal conditions affecting certain organs or different parts of your body, including back pain.

Symptoms of back pain include:

– Muscle ache
– Stabbing pain
– Pain that worsens when lifting, standing, walking or bending
– Pain that improves when you recline
– Pain that radiates towards your legs

In 2014 a study by British physiotherapists found that it’s not only a matter of ancient practices, and that reflexology is an effective tool for inducing relaxation and therefore reducing pain. Further studies have shown that reflexology can reduce anxiety and that people with lower back pain experienced better results with reflexology than by massaging the lower back itself.

It is possible to take measures to prevent most back pain episodes, but when prevention fails, reflexology is the best way to go. To treat your back while massaging your feet, focus the massage on the arches and use a few drops of lotion or oil for lubrication. Alternate moving your thumbs in a series of strokes moving from the heel to the toes, or, using your thumbs press in and “cat walk” along the arch.

To treat lower back pain specifically, apply pressure to the reflex points on the soles of both your feet, around your ankles, the area around your heels, and the inner edge of each foot.

To treat upper back pain apply pressure with your thumb to the area just below the base of your toes, start with the sole of your foot and move onto the top of your foot. While working the sole of your foot, press your knuckles deeply. Use a lighter touch on the tops of your feet because it is a more sensitive and bony area.

Sometimes a simple ankle rotation and massage can help prepare your legs for your reflexology treatment. Apply firm pressure while massaging your calves, ankles, feet, and toes and flex your feet forward and backward. Rotate your feet to loosen up your ankles. Massaging the lower arch-edge of your foot for 5 to 10 minutes will help to relieve lumbar or general back pain.

Conclusion: There’s evidence to suggest that massaging your feet could be beneficial for your health. And scientific opinion aside, it feels amazing!