Back care means cleaning and massaging back, paying special attention to pressure points

Back massage provides comfort pleases and relaxes the patient; thereby it facilitates the physical stimulation to the skin and the emotional relaxation

Back rub means attending the back and pressure points of body with special care it is often called as back care or back massage


  • To give comfort to the patient
  • To stimulate blood circulation
  • To promote rest and sleep
  • To prevent pressure sores
  • To assess the skin condition
  • To relax and relieve tension in tissues and muscles
  • To refresh patient and relieve fatigue

General Instructions

  • Back care given as a part of morning care and evening care
  • Pressure points are attended more frequently and the position is changed
  • When the skin is greasy, moist, thin about to break or patient is in continent or edematous used spirit or powder to reduce friction
  • When the skin is dry, use oil for back rub. Spirit toughens the skins and powder reduces friction oil lubricates the skin and, hence friction
  • When giving back rub, use more pressure on upward strokes towards the head and less pressure on the downward strokes
  • Back rub may be contraindicated in patients susceptible to clotting disorders


A tray containing of:

  • A basin of warm water
  • Sponge cloths – 2
  • Soap and towel
  • Surgical spirit or back-rub lotion and powder
  • Mackintosh and towel
  • Kidney tray and paper bag


  • Wash hands and explain the procedure
  • Screen the patient and explain the procedure
  • Turn the patient on his side
  • Turn back top bedding and expose only required part
  • Spread towel close to the patients back to protect bed linen
  • Wash back thoroughly from cervical spine to the coccyx
  • Apply soap in the same manner. Run hands firmly and slowly up the back on either side of the vertebral column up the neck and down across the shoulders
  • Pour some spirit in to hand applies firmly in a circular motion repeat until back is thoroughly rubbed with it
  • Wash off soap and dry thoroughly with towel
  • The back must be rubbed three to five minutes especially over pressure points
  • Apply back powder after through drying of the spirit
  • Remove the towel
  • Cover the patient with top bedding

After Care

  • Make the patient comfortable
  • Remove the screen and equipment
  • Clean the articles with soap and water and keep ready for next use
  • Wash hands
  • Record the date, time treatment and observation made on nurse’s record
BACK CARE / BACK MASSAGE / BACK RUB - Definition, Purpose, Equipment, Procedure, After Care
BACK CARE / BACK MASSAGE / BACK RUB – Definition, Purpose, Equipment, Procedure, After Care

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