One of the main questions that a lot of massage therapists get asked is “Does massage help with degenerative disc disease?”. The answer is yes!
Massage therapy’s main goal is to help relieve tension that accumulates on the head and neck which in turn effects the function and health of the spinal column.
To answer the question “How does massage help with degenerative disc disease”, you need to understand what degenerative disc disease is. In short, degenerative disc disease is the breakdown of your intervertebral discs. The intervertebral disc are the shock absorbing cushions between each of your discs which make up your spine. This is a natural effect of the spine that comes with age due to the intervertebral discs becoming dehydrated and the breakdown of their proteins which makes them start to shrink in size over time. With added pressure and strain on the head, neck, and back muscles due to everyday activities, it can start to be a painful problem which effects the already breaking down intervertebral disc.
So, the question that we are all awaiting the answer to is:
How Does Massage Help with Degenerative Disc Disease?
Degenerative Disc Disease can be painful for the individual and effect their flexibility, range of motion, strength of muscles and induce spasms. With massage therapy, it generally helps in these three ways:
– Increased Blood Flow and Circulation: This brings back the ability for critical nutrients to flow back fully to the strained muscles and tissues. With the increased blood flow, the muscles/tissues are able become stronger and help with the added strain coming from the degenerating discs.
– Decreasing Tension: The muscles become tense when they are under a lot of unnecessary strain from having to over compensate for the weakening discs. This can cause limited flexibility, low range of motion and cause aching pain. When the muscles become relaxed while being manipulated during the massage it improves the range of motion and flexibility which then helps with decreasing pain that the person would feel.
– Increasing the “feel good” chemical: Endorphins are a mood enhancing chemical which is released in our brain. When receiving a treatment from a massage therapist, this chemical is released and can help with reducing pain and a faster recovery. When you emotionally feel better, you relaxe the muscles and therefore elevates some of the added tension.
Does Massage Help with Degenerative Disc Disease Forever?
Massage can help Degenerative Disc Disease for a prolonged amount of time as long as the individual continues to follow the maintenance schedule that the Massage Therapist lays out for them. As much as massage can help with the muscle strain, flexibility increasing, and reduced pain, the best results come when the individual work in conjunction with other health care professionals. It is important to keep open communication between all health practitioners to ensure the best treatment for your self. Since everyone’s body is different and reacts to pain differently, it is always important to consult your doctor about your potential DDD diagnosis if you have not already previously been diagnosed. This way the massage therapist can treat you in the most beneficial way to improve your health.