Can massage therapy be used to treat a degenerative spine?

If pain from a degenerative spine condition is affecting your quality of life, you may be able to find relief without surgical treatment — or even without taking medications. In recent years, holistic treatments for neck and back pain have grown significantly in popularity. One such option is massage therapy.

You might be somewhat surprised by this, especially if you tend to think of massage as a pampering splurge that you would reward yourself with at a luxurious spa. However, many people find therapeutic massage to be effective for reducing neck or back pain caused by a herniated disc, spinal stenosis or other degenerative spine condition.

Benefits of massage therapy for degenerative spine treatment

When used for degenerative spine treatment, the primary goal of therapeutic massage is to relax the muscles that provide support to the spine. Tightness in the core, back and abdominal muscles is very common and potentially problematic if it occurs along with a degenerative spine condition. That’s because muscle tension can further strain the spine, impede recovery and contribute to the progression of the degeneration. A licensed massage therapist who is experienced in treating patients with degenerative spine conditions can perform manual techniques designed to reduce inflammation, loosen tense muscles, enhance circulation and promote relaxation.

Of course, a massage can simply feel good. But, in terms of degenerative spine treatment, therapeutic massage can provide other benefits as well, including:

  • Increased blood flow, which can more effectively deliver oxygen and healing nutrients to damaged tissues around the spine
  • Improved spinal flexibility and range of motion
  • Reduced fluid retention and inflammation
  • Decreased muscle spasms

Massage therapy can complement other degenerative spine treatments

Therapeutic massage can be easily combined with other conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, hot/cold therapy and spinal injections, to create a comprehensive degenerative spine treatment plan. As a general rule of thumb, though, if severe discomfort persists or worsens after several weeks or months of nonsurgical treatment, surgery may be an appropriate next step.

Laser Spine Institute takes a minimally invasive approach to spine surgery. Contact us to find out how we may be able to help you find relief from your degenerative spine symptoms. We can provide you with a free MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive surgery.