Pinched nerves hurt. They can be so painful that they impede normal day-to-day functions. Massage therapy may be a pinched nerves arch nemesis.

Helping Pinched Nerves Through Massage Therapy

Pinched nerves usually happen because of an injury to structures near the nerve. The sciatic nerve is probably the nerve that is the best known for becoming pinched. Pinched nerves most often occur in the lower back and in the neck area, although they can occur anywhere on the body. For instance, carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by a peripheral nerve being pinched as it goes through the front of the wrist.

If the nerve space in your spine becomes damaged in any way, nerve endings could become compressed or pinched, resulting in nerve pain, weakening of muscles or loss of sensation in the area. A pinched nerve may impede all your regular nerve functions.

Some symptoms of a pinched nerve:

  • Pain in the nerve affected;
  • A feeling of pins and needles or numbness;
  • Decreased reflexes;
  • Weak muscles;
  • Bladder or bowel function problems.

How is a diagnosis made?

How you describe your symptoms to your doctor is a good indicator of a whether or not you have a pinched nerve. You may be sent for X-rays, an MRI or a CT scan to confirm a diagnosis and to detect how severely the nerve is pinched.

How massage can help

The physical action of soft tissue massage (such as Swedish massage) and deep tissue massage works not only on the muscles, but on tendons, ligaments and fascia – all areas that can be associated with a pinched nerve.

A massage therapist will know the right depth to massage the affected area, how much pressure to use and for how long, with the goal of reducing the pain. About 30 minutes is enough to relax the painful area.

After the massage:

  • Don’t lift anything heavy or engage in vigorous exercise for at least two hours after a massage;
  • Drink lots of water to help your body release toxins; and
  • Follow up with your massage therapist to reassess your situation if the area is still painful.

The team at Dynamic Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic is experienced in massage and will be happy to discuss your situation and how to alleviate your discomfort. Your outcome will be better the less time the nerve remains pinched, so give them a call to schedule an appointment today.


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