Massage as a Treatment for Bulging Discs
Your back consists or stacked bones called vertebrae. There are discs between the vertebrae that act as shock absorbers and that allow the spine to bend. Each disc consists of a soft semi-fluid centre (the nucleus) that is surrounded and held together by strong ligaments.
The discs in your spine can be the cause of a great deal of back pain and may result in you seeking bulging disc treatment. This pain can typically range from a nagging ache and sciatic discomfort to excruciating pain that incapacitates you. There are simple measures you can take to reduce the risk of disc problems occurring and to reduce your pain once problems do occur.
To understand how disc pain happens, it is important to understand normal posture, when standing upright there is a natural inward curve in the lower back called a lumbar lordosis. With this natural lordosis, your body weight is distributed evenly over the discs.
The lordosis is lost whenever you slouch or bend forward. Back problems develop if you find yourself in these positions for long periods of time. This occurs because the vertebrae are placed in a position that pushes the nucleus backwards and stresses the ligaments as that back of the disc.
If the pressure on the ligaments is severe enough they may become weak and allow the soft inside part of the disc to bulge outward (prolapse) and press on the spinal nerves. This can cause sciatic pain in the buttock or down the leg.
WHEN IT COMES TO BULGING DISCS – PREVENTION IS BEST
Ideally, you want to stop back pain from developing by taking some steps to reduce strain to your back.
Many chairs do not offer sufficient supports for your lower back. Even well designed chairs can be used improperly. For example, most people sit in the middle of the seat, and then slouch backward against the back support.
It is important to maintain natural lordosis in your lower back while sitting. You can use a specially designed lumbar support that can be attached to your chair or simply roll up a medium sized towel and place it between your lower back and the backrest of your seat.
As well, stand up regularly, put your hands on the back of your hips and bend backwards five or six times.
Many activities around the home like gardening, making the bed and vacuuming cause you to stoop forward. Make sure that you stand upright occasionally and bend backwards to relieve the strain on the back ligaments. If you are doing any lifting, make sure to keep your back straight and bend from your hips and knees.
In the event that your back starts hurting be sure to see your Massage Therapist right away. They’ll be able to help you out through Remedial Massage Therapy, or refer you to a qualified medical professional.
BACK EXERCISES TO HELP PREVENT DISC PROBLEMS
Here are several extension exercises you can do to recover from lower back pain, specifically acute episodes of back pain – when your back ‘goes out’. They put the vertebrae in a position that pushes the soft centre of the disc forward so it stops pushing on the ligaments or nerves in the lower back.
Before beginning, consult with your Massage Therapist to be sure that they are appropriate for you. Do them in the order outlined. When doing these exercises, you should move until you just start to feel discomfort and then return to the starting position. If you do these exercises every two hours, about six to either times per day, you should notice a significant change in pain within one to two days.
Closely observe the location and intensity of your pain. If your pain becomes less diffuse and localises to your back or if the pain becomes less intense, you’ll know these exercises are working. If the pain intensifies or starts to spread further from your spine, especially below the knee, stop exercising and get advice from your Massage Therapist.