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Science Of AiraWear: Massage That Relieves Back Pain

Science of AiraWear

The problem of modern day back pain

Back pain is an invisible epidemic. Specifically, it’s back pain that is related to your long hours at work, when you sit in positions that are awkward and unnatural. During those hours, the risk for getting lower back pain is at its greatest. [1]

You see, not only is back pain a leading cause of work absenteeism… [2]

At least 27.6 million people (8.6%) in the US actually suffer from general low back pain, while at least 6.6 million people (2.1%) in the US suffer from chronic low back pain. [3]

That’s 10.7% of the US population respectively. That means there’s 1 in 10 people who experience some sort of back pain right now. But wait! 8 out of 10 people in the USA will experience back pain at one point in their lives. [4]

And you are at risk of being one of those 8 people.

Back pain isn’t a new problem for sure. But it’s more relevant than ever.

And among the many solutions, there’s one particular one that stands out till today.

Massage as treatment: a bundle of wonders

You may have heard from a friend that it’s good to have a massage once in a while. You may have experienced it for yourself too.

What exactly is massage good for?

Based on a consumer survey, 9 out of 10 people agree that massage is an effective solution to manage back pain. [5] That’s an overwhelming majority agreeing on how good massage feels for them. In fact, a recent study showed that massage can be effective for relieving chronic lower back pain. [6] Another study suggested that massage can directly reduce inflammation (your body’s typical response to injury). [7]

And it isn’t just back pain relief that massage is effective at.

Thanks to massage, you get to sleep better every night. [8]

You face less anxiety after a good massage. And massages can improve your mood at the same time. Furthermore, you feel more relaxed both immediately (within 15 minutes) and in the long-term (over a period of several months). [9], [10] For a short amount of time, massage can reduce the production of stress hormones and increase the production of lymphocytes – a type of white blood cells. [11]

There’s one particular massage that stands out in particular, especially when dealing with body pain…

There’s one particular massage that stands out in particular, especially when dealing with body pain…

Trigger point massage to relieve back pain

Trigger point massage (AKA neuromuscular therapy) has been effective in dealing with body pain.

It’s widely practised by professionals including (but not limited to) physiotherapists, athletic trainers, chiropractors, massage therapists, osteopaths and occupational therapists.

Before we find out how trigger point massages work…

Let’s take a look at what trigger points are first.

Trigger points are tight areas in the muscle tissue that are hyperirritable. These points are found all over our body – including our back and shoulders. They can even cause pain in other parts of the body. [12] Sometimes, they are simply referred to as muscle “knots” – because of how clenched up the muscle tissues are.

What happens typically during trigger point massage?

Practitioners of this massage identify and apply pressure to the trigger points (usually with fingers, knuckles or elbows). They typically use intense pressure or slow friction on an area for about 10 to 30 seconds each.

Trigger point therapy is used to release muscle ache and pain associated with the muscle knots. The pressure is applied on specific areas where muscle tissues are contracted (and usually cause us pain).

How AiraWear utilizes trigger point massage for the back

AiraWear applies the same trigger point massage – and its benefits – to the common pain points from sitting down for too long. Specifically, it massages your:


  • Shoulders (upper trapezius and rhomboid muscles),
  • Middle back (thoracic erector spinae and paraspinal muscles), and
  • Lower back (lumbar erector spinae and paraspinal muscles and quadratus lumborum).

AiraWear is a smart massage jacket for you to get your back massage anywhere you want. Through AiraWear, we aim to free up your hours from back pain.

Interested in AiraWear? Join our Waiting List to secure your spot in line to order your AiraWear


[1] Monnier A, et al (2016) Risk factors for back pain in marines: a prospective cohort study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 17: 319

[2] Kaaria S, et al (2005) Low back pain, work absenteeism, chronic back disorders, and clinical findings in the low back as predictors of hospitalization due to low back disorders: a 28 year old follow up of industrial employees. Spine 30: 1211-1218

[3] Health, United States (2015) US Department of Health and Human Services. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus15.pdf

[4] Sayre C (2011) America asks about back pain. Available from: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/america-asks-13/12-back-pain-tips

[5] 2015 and 2014 AMTA Consumer Surveys (2015) Industry Fact Sheet. American Massage Therapy Association. Available from: https://www.amtamassage.org/infocenter/economic_industry-fact-sheet.html

[6] MacMillan, A. Massage Can Help Treat Low Back Pain. (2017). Time. http://time.com/4728672/massage-low-back-pain/. Accessed April 17, 2017.

[7] Szalavitz, M. How Massage Helps Heal Muscles And Relieve Pain. (2012). Time. http://healthland.time.com/2012/02/02/how-massage-helps-heal-muscles-and-relieve-pain/. Accessed April 17, 2017.

[8] Field T, et al (2007) Lower back pain and sleep disturbance are reduced following massage therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 11: 141-145

[9] Cady SH & Jones GE (1997) Massage therapy as a workplace intervention for reduction of stress. Perceptual and Motor Skills 84: 157-158

[10] Li Y, et al (2014) Massage therapy for fibromyalgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLOS ONE 9(2): e89304-

[11] Cloud, JA. The Lab Rat Gets Petted: How Massage Works. (2011). Time.  http://healthland.time.com/2011/01/19/the-lab-rat-gets-petted-how-massage-works/. Accessed April 17, 2017.

[12] Ingraham P, Taylor T. The complete guide to trigger points & Myofascial pain (2016). PainScience.com. https://www.painscience.com/tutorials/trigger-points.php. Accessed October 13, 2016.