Spinal stenosis can cause severe pain in your spine and hips, weakness, numbness, tingling, and in some cases, long-term disability. Spinal stenosis refers to when your spinal canal narrows, which results in the compression of your spinal cord and surrounding nerves and other structures. Spinal stenosis can be caused by the aging process, injuries, arthritis, and a herniated disc.
Taking medications such as corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help relieve inflammation and pain; however, some people cannot tolerate the side effects such as gastrointestinal disturbances. Physical therapy can also help; however, if these treatment options fail to bring relief, you may need to consider surgery. Before doing so, however, consider massage therapy because it can help bring relief in the following ways.
Your massage services professional can offer you a number of different massage techniques such as a myofascial release massage. This technique helps relieve the tension in your muscle groups that may be responsible for spinal compression.
Myofascial release massage is a technique where the massage therapist exerts mild pressure on the myofascial connective soft tissue to help improve your range of motion and relieve pain. While many other types of therapeutic massage may be enhanced when the therapist uses massage oils, myofascial release yields better results when the skin is free from oils or creams.
Systemic Inflammation Suppression
Therapeutic massage helps promotes the release of certain chemicals into your bloodstream. These chemicals include serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine. Massage also helps inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines. These processes help suppress systemic inflammation, and as a result, local inflammatory reactions of the spine and surrounding structures decrease.
Over time, you will enjoy less pain and improved mobility, and in some cases, your symptoms may completely resolve. In addition, when endorphins are released into your system as a result of therapeutic massage, you may experience feelings of well-being, and your perception of pain may decrease.
While you may notice an improvement in your spinal stenosis symptoms after only a single massage treatment, it may take multiple appointments with your massage therapist before you notice a dramatic improvement.
If you have spinal stenosis, work with both your physician and massage therapist. When you work with both of these professionals, you are more likely to experience a more rapid recovery from your symptoms so that you can resume your activities of daily living as soon as possible.
To learn more, contact a massage therapist in your area.