I Have a Pinched Nerve — Will Massage Therapy Help?

If you have a pinched nerve, then there’s a good chance that massage therapy can help alleviate your symptoms. This is because muscle tension, which is readily alleviated by massage therapy, is sometimes the cause of the pressure that leads to the pinched nerve in the first place. However, you must always check with your doctor before participating in massage therapy, as you don’t want to inadvertently exacerbate the problem.

What Is a Pinched Nerve?

Pinched nerves are relatively common, especially during aging. This condition occurs when a nerve (usually in the neck, back, or shoulder) becomes damaged or compressed by bone, connective tissue, or muscle due to repetitive strain, injury, or nervous tension. As the name suggests, pinched nerves are pretty painful and require a somewhat extensive recovery window.

What Causes a Pinched Nerve?

A pinched nerve is a widespread injury that occurs due to poor posture, repetitive stress injuries at work, being active and playing sports, or just simply moving the wrong way or over-lifting at the gym.

Will Massage Always Help a Pinched Nerve?

Not all causes of pain can be healed or helped by massage, which holds true for the massage for pinched nerves. The key to relieving the pain is relieving the pressure. With simple rest, the pressure goes away on its own, taking the pain with it. Whether compressed by bone, muscle or tissue also determines the appropriateness of massage therapy for pinched nerves.

For example, if your pinched nerve is the result of strained muscles, then your doctor may say a light Swedish massage can help you heal more quickly. However, if your pinched nerve results from problems with herniated disks or spinal alignment, then massage may be less-than-effective, and treatment with a chiropractor instead who can manipulate the body to help alleviate pain.

In many cases, the chiropractor can help with bone repositioning so that the body’s muscles can relax, taking the pressure off the pinched nerve.

Is Deep Tissue Massage Suitable for Treating Pinched Nerves?

Most doctors warn against the use of deep tissue massage when treating pinched nerves, as this type of massage can make matters worse. This underscores the need to work with a doctor to determine the best course of action for including massage therapy in your treatment plan. Remember, massage therapy is not a replacement for medical therapy but instead serves to augment and accelerate the treatment of those injuries for which its efficacy is proven.

For more information about pinched nerves and the role that SV Massage can have in treating them, contact us today.

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