Spinal stenosis is not only painful but, if untreated, it is likely to steadily worsen until it becomes debilitating. It may lead to impaired mobility and even loss of bowel and bladder control. Too often, after being diagnosed, a patient will go right to prescription drugs or surgery— even though there are proven, and noninvasive, remedies or relief in chiropractic medicine.
Combatting Spinal Stenosis Pain
One of those more healthful interventions is the use of massage — a tool commonly utilized by chiropractors and physical therapists with proven success. We have already reported on how we can bring relief to sufferers of stenosis via spinal decompression, which essentially reverses compression generated by the narrowing spinal canal.
Spinal stenosis, as a condition, may be abetted by any of a number of factors, including injury, osteoporosis and disc herniation. It doesn’t improve with age and, in fact, will most likely get worse. Pain, discomfort, weakness, and numbness are not limited to the back but often spread to the arms, legs, and buttocks. Muscle cramping is often reported, as well as the sensations of pins and needles.
An advantage of physical therapy in alleviating stenosis symptoms is that the patients, once instructed on exercises and motions, can continue with these on their own at home— one of the hallmarks of physical therapy. Massage therapy deals with stiffness and pain associated with stenosis, without centering on the spine itself. We’re talking about massaging the surrounding and adjacent muscles in the back, lower back (lumbar) and buttocks.
Clinical Studies Confirm Effectiveness
The constricted spine distresses everything close to it, and if you loosen muscles affected, the sense of relief is often amazing.
Massage therapy involves various modalities or treatment methods, but with spinal stenosis the approach typically relies on long strokes accompanied by a kneading motion we generally associate with massage, which by definition is a systematic kneading of body tissue.
There is no question that massage is a popular and trusted path toward relief enjoyed by millions of Americans, but medical case studies reported by the National Institutes of Health and the Annals of Internal Medicine add credence toward its value in dealing with back pain and its many causes.
A published 2011 study involving more than 400 subjects concluded that massage may not only be an effective treatment, but its benefits were shown last as long as six months after 10 weeks of regular massage sessions.
Massage therapy for spinal stenosis specifically has been verified as being effective, including deep-tissue massage, which, it was reported, not only released the accumulated tension in muscles but in tendons and ligaments as well. This, in turn, dramatically releases the pressure on the spine. Another case study concluded that massage also relieves inflammation “flare-ups” and that regular, so-called remedial massage is being prescribed increasingly by physicians as a means of improving range of motion that will neutralize the impact emanating from stenosis.
—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 for an appointment at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy.