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Massage For Spinal Stenosis

What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal Stenosis is the name of a painful condition, in which the spinal cord and/or nerve roots are placed under abnormal pressure by narrowing of the spinal canal. Spinal Stenosis can occur anywhere in the spine but the most common presentation occurs in the lumbar spine (low back) and next most commonly in the cervical spine (neck). Symptoms of Spinal Stenosis include neck or back pain, numbness in the extremities, pain in the extremities, muscular weakness, and cramping.

What is the cause of Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal Stenosis may be caused by osteoarthritis or Paget's Disease or by a traumatic injury to the spinal column that causes pressure on the nerve roots or the spinal cord itself. When due to osteoarthritis or Paget's Disease, Spinal Stenosis most often affects middle-aged or elderly people.

Massage Therapy and Bodywork for Spinal Stenosis

Massage and Bodywork does not treat Spinal Stenosis directly; however, two things may be accomplished through massage therapy and bodywork to improve the client's symptoms. First, it may be possible through massage therapy and bodywork to improve posture and reduce abnormal curves in the spine. The improvements in posture, often through the use of Ortho-Bionomy or Myoskeletal Alignment Therapy, could provide a slight decrease in pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots.

Second, some symptoms attributed to Spinal Stenosis may not be due to the condition at all. Once the diagnosis of Spinal Stenosis is made, all symptoms of cramping, pain, numbness, and weakness are usually assumed to stem from the condition. However, the symptoms may be from soft tissue nerve entrapments or trigger point referrals that can be treated with massage therapy. The massage therapist has a number of techniques available to relieve the nerve entrapments or trigger points. For example, Neuromuscular Therapy or Trigger Point Therapy may be used to eliminate myofascial trigger points in affected muscles. The massage therapist could also use Myofascial Release techniques or Deep Tissue Massage techniques to release tissues trapping nerves.

Other Treatments for Spinal Stenosis

While massage therapy and bodywork may be excellent treatment for symptoms possibly related to Spinal Stenosis, there are other treatments you should discuss with your physician:

Chiropractic manipulation
Pain medications
Steroid Injections
Anti-inflammatory medications
Decompression Surgery

The information in this article has been provided for information purposes only. It is not meant to provide a medical diagnosis, only a licensed physician may diagnose Spinal Stenosis. If you feel that you have the symptoms of Spinal Stenosis please see your physician for a proper diagnosis and plan of treatment which may include massage therapy and bodywork. Spinal Stenosis can be a very serious condition and medical attention is necessary.

If, after consulting your physician, you would like to pursue treatment of symptoms attributed to Spinal Stenosis with Massage Therapy and Bodywork please contact me at my San Antonio Massage and Bodywork practice, Massage By Ben, at 210-269-3314.

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