If you are currently recovering from an injury that caused a herniation in one of the discs in your back, you may be trying to find various types of treatment that can help relieve some of the pain and tension caused by your condition. If so, consider the following ways that massage therapy may be able to ease some of the symptoms caused by your herniated disc.
1. Relieves Muscle Tension Around the Disc
One way massage therapy can help with your herniated disc symptoms is by relieving the muscle tension surrounding your spine caused by the protrusion of the disc into the tissue. While massage and pressure should never be used directly on the disc itself, working the muscles around it can help loosen up the muscle fibers and ease your discomfort.
By releasing some of the tension in the back muscles, you may also find a decrease in the number of muscle spasms that you experience. Because the muscles are not in a constantly tight state, they will not suddenly tense up as often, reducing those sharp, intense spasms that can send you to your knees.
2. Brings the Spine Back into Alignment
As the muscles become looser after a few sessions, massage therapy can also help bring the spine back into alignment. When you have a herniated disc, the bulging vertebrae keeps the spine from being straight.
Then, as the muscles continue to tighten, the misalignment worsens, causing increased pressure and pain in your back. It can also cause symptoms in your legs if the vertebrae start pushing down on the nerves. You may start to experience radiating pain and weakness in one or both legs, depending on where in your back the herniation is located.
However, when the muscles start to loosen up during massage therapy, the spine above and below the herniation that was once crooked is allowed to move more freely. In conjunction with chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy to strengthen your core muscles, your spine may start to realign, helping to decrease the symptoms in both your back and legs.
3. Helps Increase Range of Motion
When you have a disc herniation, the pressure from the bulging disc and the tension in the muscles around it can make it difficult for you to bend over, walk, or even sit for very long. You may even find that every time you move, you feel a sudden increase in pain, soreness, or tightness in your back. These symptoms can dramatically decrease your ability to move around.
However, since massage therapy helps to work out the tension and soreness in the muscles, as well as help to realign your spinal column, the decrease in symptoms you experience may start to make it easier for you to move. As a result, you will see an increase in your back's range of motion as you are able to bend more without increasing your discomfort.
This increase in your range of motion can then help any other therapies you may be trying. For example, if you are going to physical therapy treatments, your increased ability to move can help you perform the exercises more easily. As a result, your back and core muscles will be able to strengthen and help support the injured area of your spine, possibly resulting in even more symptom relief.
Along with your other treatments, massage therapy could help relieve the pain and discomfort caused by your herniated disc, as well as increase your mobility. If you are interested in learning more about how massage therapy may help you while you recover, speak with a chiropractor who offers this type of treatment.