Massage therapy has long been known to have many benefits for the body, including stress reduction, pain reduction, and improved blood circulation. Because of these benefits, massage therapy is useful for treating many different conditions, including pinched nerves.
A pinched nerve is a common condition that affects many people. According to research, about 85 out of every 100,000 adults experience a pinched nerve every year. However, the good news is that it can often be treated with simple and non-invasive techniques if discovered early.
In this article, we will explore the role of massage therapy in the treatment of a pinched nerve. But first, let’s define what a pinched nerve is.
What Is Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve occurs when the tissues around a nerve become compressed or put under stress. These tissues can include cartilage, bone, tendons, or even muscles. When pressure is put on these tissues, the nerve can become irritated, leading to symptoms such as pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness.
Pinched nerves can occur in various parts of the body, such as the shoulder, neck, leg, or wrist. When this happens, the pain or numbness you feel can easily spread to nearby tissues. For example, if a nerve in your wrist is pinched, you may feel the effects in your fingers or hands.
In some cases, surgery or other invasive procedures may be necessary to treat a pinched nerve. However, if the condition is identified early enough, it can be treated with non-invasive methods that are relatively easy and painless. It is essential to visit a doctor to diagnose the condition, after which the best treatment method will be recommended by the specialist.
Symptoms and Causes of a Pinched Nerve
The symptoms of a pinched nerve can vary depending on the location of the nerve and the severity of the compression. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Numbness or a loss of sensation in a particular part of the body
- A sharp, aching, or burning pain that spreads through the body
- Weakness in the muscles
- A tingling sensation, as if there are needles or pins all over your body
These symptoms may become more intense when you try to sleep. However, with adequate rest, these sensations are expected to subside in a matter of days. If the symptoms persist, it may be necessary to book an appointment with a doctor for proper treatment. Several factors can cause a pinched nerve, including:
- Mental stress
- Overuse of the body through excess physical exercise or outdoor activities
- Too little physical activity and spending too much time in one position
- Diabetes is also a high-risk factor.
Can a Massage Therapist Help With a Pinched Nerve?
While massage therapy can be helpful in treating certain cases of pinched nerves, it is important to note that it is not a universal treatment and should not be used in every situation. It is always best to consult with your doctor before seeking any form of treatment for a pinched nerve. They will be able to assess your condition and medical history and provide you with the most appropriate advice.
If your doctor recommends massage therapy as a treatment for your pinched nerve, then you can proceed with the therapy. However, if they do not recommend it, it is best to avoid it as it could worsen your condition.
What Kind of Massage is Best For Pinched Nerves?
Massage therapists use a range of techniques and styles, but not all of them are effective for treating pinched nerves. The most effective type of massage for treating a pinched nerve is a gentle but firm massage that focuses on relaxing the muscles and deeper layers of tissue that are tense and causing pressure on the nerve.
Swedish massage is a highly recommended massage style for treating pinched nerves. This massage style is very relaxing and can help reduce stress levels, which can contribute to pinched nerves. It is also gentle and firm, making it effective in relaxing the muscles and deeper layers of tissue that may be causing pressure on the nerve.
A pinched nerve massage typically takes between 45 minutes to an hour, and there are two options available. The first is to focus on the specific part of the body that is experiencing the most pain, while the second option is a full-body massage that is aimed at reducing overall stress levels that may have contributed to the pinched nerve.
How Long Does a Pinched Nerve Take to Heal?
Conservative treatments such as physical therapy and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often used to treat pinched nerves, and symptoms typically improve within six to twelve weeks. Adequate rest, regular exercise, changes in sleeping position, ice and hot therapy, and some other lifestyle modifications may also aid in your recovery.
The time it takes for a pinched nerve to heal can vary depending on a number of factors, including the cause of the pinched nerve, the degree of compression, and the response of your immune system. It is important to note that if your symptoms persist for more than a few weeks, it may be necessary to undergo surgery to alleviate the pressure on the nerve.
Massage therapy can be an effective treatment for certain cases of pinched nerves. However, it is important to consult with your doctor before seeking any form of treatment, including massage therapy. If your doctor recommends massage therapy, a gentle but firm massage that focuses on relaxing the muscles and deeper layers of tissue that are causing pressure on the nerve is recommended. Conservative treatments are usually effective for treating pinched nerves, but if symptoms persist for an extended period of time, surgery may be necessary.