Massage is an excellent way to relieve acute or chronic pain. It is also very relaxing to get a massage and relieves mental stress too. While massage has all these advantages, it can only be enjoyed when you get it done by a qualified therapist. You cannot simply get a massage from anyone and treat the symptoms of your illness.
A bulging disk is a common issue found in aged people where the soft tissues present between each vertebra may protrude or bulge outwards and cause severe pain. Massaging the area can alleviate the pain and soothe you. But it must be done by a professional therapist. Otherwise, it might make the symptoms worse and the pain may increase.
Therefore, in this article, we shall discuss how massage affects a bulged or herniated disc and whether it will make it worse or not.
Can Massage Make Bulging Disc Worse?
Proper massage techniques will not worsen the pain of a bulging disc. Nor it will worsen the condition. It helps to relieve muscle pain temporarily. But an improper technique and therapist can make it worse and it can lead to severe chronic pain. It is important to understand what is a bulged disc and what happens during a massage session.
What is a Bulged Disc?
The vertebral column has soft discs between each vertebra and there is a gel-like substance that lubricates it. These discs protect the vertebrae from rubbing and wearing against each other. They also help in shock absorption and free movement of the spinal column.
Due to aging, the outer covering holding this gel can get inflamed and start to bulge. This bulging causes severe pain and discomfort while walking, traveling, sitting, standing, etc. So, it becomes very difficult to perform daily activities and requires treatment.
What does your Massage Therapist do for a Bulged Disc?
Massage therapists focus on relieving the tension in the muscles which indirectly relaxes the bulged disc. But it doesn’t provide a complete cure. Just by relaxing the adjacent muscles, it simply gives you a sense of relief for some time.
The therapist may also use some techniques to warm up the muscles initially by using a steam bath or other heating devices. Then by locating the area where the disc has bulged, the massage therapist might slowly start kneading the muscles adjacent to it.
Most of the time, the warming up of bulged disc parts will alleviate the pain and discomfort for some time. When this is accompanied by muscle massage, it gives good relief for some time. If you attend the sessions for a few days, you can have a good result. But it is not a permanent cure.
Even if the therapist does deep tissue massage, it will not give permanent relief or cure the bulged disc condition. Therefore, massage can soothe the condition and relieve some discomfort. But it will not provide a complete cure for the condition. Also, performing the massage with other than a professional can lead to worsening of the symptoms.
What Can Make a Bulging Disc Worse?
Since most of the bulge happens in the lumbar part, any movement that involves bending forward will worsen the condition. Here are some of the movements you should avoid:
- Bending down to reach heavy objects
- Improper sitting posture which includes slouching and hunching
- Performing certain stretches that include forward bending while standing or sitting
- Sit-ups with or without weights
- Bench Press and other similar workouts
Along with this if you are doing too much walking, running, sitting, or any kind of workout, it will worsen the bulge and lead to chronic pain. When you are performing these actions, it compresses the front side of the disc and increases the bulge. Therefore, it is important to stay away from these activities and protect your spine health.
How to Manage the Symptoms of a Bulging Disc?
You can manage the symptoms of a bulging disc with the following activities and treatment options:
- Massage regularly to get good relief from the severe pain
- Always walk slowly
- Don’t make sudden movements
- Don’t sit or stand for long hours
- Improve your posture
- Change your chair or seating according to your comfort
- Use an ice pack over the disc area. You can also use heat to alleviate symptoms of pain.
- Try physiotherapy for better results
Along with this, you should observe a good lifestyle to alleviate the symptoms and avoid certain bad habits so that the condition doesn’t worsen furthermore. Therefore, try your best to observe good posture and lifestyle. Also, avoid the above-mentioned activities to keep your back safe.
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You cannot cure a bulged disc with a massage. But it can manage the pain and help you to perform your daily activities without any difficulty. Also, it can help you towards healing your back. Along with massage, if you follow a good lifestyle, you can easily cure the condition easily.