Treat a Herniated Disc with Seattle Massage Therapy
If you have a herniated disc, you know how painful they can be. The pain caused by a herniated disc can leave you lying in bed feeling as if your world is ending. Aside from the constant pain the injury can cause, it also leaves you unable to participate in many of the activities that you enjoy. Most herniated discs are the result of the natural aging process, but they can also be caused in auto accidents, slip and falls or any other accident that causes an unnatural jarring of the spine.
Fortunately, many treatments can help diminish the pain that often accompanies a slipped, or herniated, disc. Massage therapy is one of those treatments. Massage therapy is often included in a comprehensive treatment plan designed to combat back, neck and limb pain that many people with a disc injury experience. However, it is important to remember that massage therapy is only part of the treatment solution. On its own, massage therapy will not allow you to regain normal function and participate in the physical activities you enjoyed before the injury, but when used as a complimentary therapy option, massage provides a number of benefits not only for your injury, but also for your overall health.
The massage therapists at Seattle’s Thrive Healing Massage are trained in many different types of massage therapy that can help manage the pain of a disc injury.
What is a Herniated Disc?
Before understanding what a herniated disc is, it is important to know the basic structure of the spine. The spine is made up several small bones known as vertebrae. These bones are in a stacked position. Between each of these bones are soft, sponge-like pieces known as discs. The discs provide cushion for the bones helping to keep them safe and allow the spine to move freely. When there is a problem with the discs, a person may experience pain, stiffness or limited range of motion.
A herniated disc occurs when the soft material contained in a disc is able to pass through tough outer shell of the disc. Unfortunately, in many cases this is the result of the normal aging process. As we get older, the discs naturally lose some of their water content and the outer cover of the disc becomes drier and leaves it more prone to ruptures or tears. When the outer cover rips open or tears, the material inside can slip out and cause considerable pain.
The disc or a bone of the spine applying pressure to one of the nerves running along the spinal column causes the pain associated with a herniated disc. The pressure placed on the nerve can cause irritation, inflammation and nerve malfunction that prohibits nerve signals from traveling through the body. Problems with spinal nerves can cause pain in nearly any part of the body as well as causing numbness or a tingling sensation to one or more areas.
Symptoms of an injured or herniated disc may include:
- General pain in the back, neck, arms or legs
- Severe pain even when not sitting or lying down
- An inability to get comfortable
- A limited range of motion
How Does Massage Therapy Help?
As previously mentioned, massage therapy is not a cure for a herniated disc. While many people live full and active lives with a herniated disc, it is important to remember that massage therapy should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan that can include everything from exercise to surgery. Most patients are able to regain full use of their body and eliminate the pain they experience through conservative treatment, such as physical rehabilitation therapy, massage therapy and a commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle. In more severe cases, surgery may be required to regain full and normal function.
Massage therapy aids in providing pain relief by helping to improve circulation and delivering much needed oxygen to injured areas of the body. Increased circulation and oxygen delivery help to assist the body in healing itself.
In addition to the improving circulation, massage also helps the body relax and stimulates the production of natural hormones that help relieve pain. Massage has proven to be effective at helping to reduce the pain levels in people with a herniated disc as they go through the rehabilitation process. There are many different types of massage techniques that can help manage the pain associated with a herniated disc, including some of the following:
- Swedish massage
- Shiatsu massage
- Sports massage therapy
- Medical massage therapy
We Can Help with Your Pain
The licensed massage therapists in Seattle at Thrive Healing Massage can help you deal with the pain a herniated disc is causing. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our staff. After we have discussed the issues you’re dealing with we will help you determine the type of massage that will be most beneficial for your situation.
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