Massage for herniated disk

“I am very susceptible to back spasm after having two spinal fusions for a fractured back. I started getting massage after back surgery every three weeks. It keeps me moving and out of the doctor’s office. My life would be completely different without massage.” — Rick Morgan, Owner of Rejuvenations Massage and chronic pain sufferer.

Herniated or slipped disks are one of the most common causes of sciatic and back pain. Providing massage for herniated disk and slipped disk pain management is the most common reason people come to Rejuvenations Massage. We provide massage before and after back surgery.

Slipped Disk Pain Management

Studies from NIH and others show that massage is as good or better than traditional medical or pharmaceutical treatments for back pain. Many of our clients manage their pain via massage for herniated disk, sciatica and general back pain rather than getting a more invasive treatment, such as a laminectomy or spinal fusion. For those who do choose surgery, massage before or after laminectomy or other back surgery can speed your recovery.

Why Does a Herniated Disk Cause So Much Pain?

The human body has major nerves that out between the vertebrae. A herniated, bulging or slipped disk puts pressure against one of those nerves, which in turn irritates the nerve. And that causes pain and the muscles in the back to tighten. Then the resulting muscle spasms put even more pressure on the slipped or herniated disk.

To add to that, inflammation of the pinched nerve creates a cycle of pain and muscle guarding, which causes more pressure, then more inflammation, and so on and so on.  

Once a disk has bulged, it creates a weak spot and will always be prone to bulging, and in extreme situations rupturing.

While massage will never “fix” this weak spot in the disk, it can provide pain management for bulging disks. That is because when we work on the muscles affecting the back, we get them to relax, which relieves the pressure on the disks. This allows the bulge to recede or a “slipped disk” to go back into place. Once the pressure is off the disk and nerve, the back can calm down and heal.  

When to Get Massage for Herniated Disk

If you are having a back crisis, we would likely recommend you come in 2 to 3 times for a week or two to get you out of the crisis. Once your back is on its way to recovery, we will space out the massages more, ultimately getting to the point where we recommend a monthly massage to keep your back muscles loose and to prevent back spasms.

Because the disk will always be weak, you need to make sure that you limit anything that can cause the muscles to tighten up because that will put pressure back on the disk. Regular stretching, losing weight and avoiding impact sports in addition to the regular back massage will all help.

If you are experiencing loss of motor function, weakness in your extremities, numbness, tingling or an electric/burning type pain running down an extremity, we recommend seeing your physician before getting a massage.

The bottom line is that chronic back pain from herniated disks or back surgeries can be managed effectively with massage, Just ask our owner who has had two back surgeries.