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massage therapy

newhouse17nnewhouse17 Posts: 133
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello everyone,

Yesterday I ran into one of my daughters friend who is a licensed massage therapist. She asked how I was doing after my ALIF and ADR. I have good days and bad days and take vicodin for pain. She would be willing to come to my house and give me a complimentary massage to see if it eliviates some of the pain. My husband is scared to death and will not allow me to do this because he is afraid it could do more damage. Is this true? She would even give me a discounted rate so its a really good deal!!

History- L4-L5, L5-S1 herniated discs with tears
DDD,spinal stenosis, major nerve damage in both legs

ALIF & ADR-May 2009
Vicodin 7.5/500 3 to 4 day, just takes edge off, motrin in addition, requesting transfer to PMD on next appt

Hubby has lots of concerns because there are days I can barely walk. Need others experiences with massage therapy to plead my case LOL!!!



  • As long as she knows where your hardware is, and avoids any type of "chiropractic" manipulation - if you feel your masseuse going that way stop them immediate! But some deep tissue massage may be a good thing.
  • The results will depend on why you are having pain. Massage in general makes you feel good for a whole bunch of reasons. We love the touching and feeling of caring (think infant being picked up). If your pain is muscle spasms or fluid buildup then massage will help alot!!

    I would talk to your doctor. As long as the therapist is experienced (not 20 and just out of school please) then it can't hurt to try. A trained therapist won't try to do any manipulation. They work on stretching muscle and breaking up the scar tissue. There is a difference between spa massage and deep tissue. You need deep tissue to get any real results.

    And remember you often feel worse right after the massage because they are stretching and working deep in the tissue. So you and your husband need to be prepared. If it is going to do any long term good it has to be deep tissue and it does hurt during and just after. Often causes bruises too.
  • I think it all depends on how experienced the massage therapist is in working with people that have had back surgery as well as what your doctor thinks. It sounds like she is pretty comfortable with it since she was asking about your surgery.

    Every medical massage therapist I have been to has required a clearance note from my doctor. The note usually just says that it is ok for me to get a massage and there are no restrictions as far as soft tissue mobilization. If you aren't "required" to have a note, it still might be good to touch base with your doctor to see if there are any restrictions that the massage therapist needs to be aware of. This could also help put your husband at ease since you'll have your doctor's approval before proceeding with it.

    As far as personal experience, my PM doc at some point recommended I try it. I have never found them to be super helpful, but they haven't harmed me and they are relaxing. I'm usually sore for a day or so, but I like a massage therapist who digs in pretty good (I would make sure you are seeing someone who does deep tissue massage, trigger point massage, or some other "medical" massage rather than like a relaxing massage). I don't get them very often since I don't get much benefit from them and they're expensive, but there are certainly people that get good pain relief from them. It seems like as long as your doctor says it is ok, it is definitely worth a shot. Massage is a well accepted modality for managing chronic pain, so that might just be another "tool" you can add to your chronic pain management list of things that work :)
  • I don't know if it's the same for the States, For my benefits up to $350. a year I need a Drs note to send in with my claim to get it for free. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hello,
    My wife and I get home massage twice a week, I have had two neck fusions front and back within a year (2008-2009) and she does my neck and back area, it's a soft massage which really helps with my tight muscles. My wife suffers from Fibro, stroke and other problems which the massage also helps. We really get a great deal 5 one hour massage for $100.00. I also have a new problem going on with L5, I really look forward to our twice a week massage.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,848
    Seeing a massage therapist is almost the same as seeing a chiropractor AFTER you have known disc problems and/or spinal surgery.

    The Spinal column/disc/nerves is a very complicated area, you only want completely trained medical personnel working on you.

    In the USA, almost anyone can get a massage therapist license. There are hardly any rules or regulations governing this. Some states may have stricter rules, but you need to be aware of this.

    I have been seeing a Deep Tissue Massage specialist, trained in Thailand and performing Thai Deep Tissue massage. This person spent 5 years in medical training and education and 10 or more years in Thailand mastering the art. I could only see him after one of my doctors wrote a prescription.
    This person is fully qualified to understand body mechanics, muscles, nerves, tendons and has earned the respect of the surrounding medical community.

    Any chiropractor or massage therapist who is NOT 100% trained and aware of your medical situation should NOT work on you. Do you research, because there could be some of the people I just mentioned who are fully qualified.

    I just wouldn't take my $150,000 Jet Plane to a VW mechanic for tune up and repair work.. Would you?
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Almost anyone can knead and muve tissue around, And as follows, anyone can do more damage through inexperience of the discipline.
    Conversly there are wonderful, conciencious practitioners who are genuinely able and knowlegable.
    good luck to you and I hope you find relief!
    William Garza
    Spine-Health Mod

    Welcome to Spine-Health

  • Thanks everyone for the replies. Now that I know of others experiences Im not so sure I want just anyone messing around in that area, Im in enough pain already.I will talk with doc on next appointment to get opinion and referal to someone who knows what their doing.

    Dilauro- I will not tell my hubby about your reply because I will get a big fat I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!HA HA

    Thanks again.
  • With fast paced lives and the continuous chase to meet deadlines, the tired mind and body does tend to seek out for a stress buster and increasingly so. Some people enjoy a stressful situation and find a rewarding experience in working under stress. Whereas there are people who are bogged down by stress and find stress affecting not only their minds but their bodies as well.
    The practice of massage however has its roots in the ancient Chinese, Greek, Roman, Indian and the Egyptian era. A Chinese book from 2,700 B.C., The Yellow Emperor's Classic Book of Internal Medicine, recommends 'breathing exercises, massage of skin and flesh, and exercises of hands and feet" as the appropriate treatment for -complete paralysis, chills, and fever." Massage one of the principal method of relieving pain for Greek and Roman physicians. Julius Caesar was apparently given a daily massage to treat neuralgia. Egyptian tomb paintings show people practicing massage. Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine, places great emphasis on massage and it remains widely practiced in India. "The Physician Must Be Experienced In Many Things," wrote Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, in the 5th century B. C., "but assuredly in rubbing.. for rubbing can bind a joint that is too loose, and loosen a joint that is too rigid."

    Massage was therefore used by early physicians to treat fatigue, illness and injury based on their basic understanding of how the body functions. But massage was not effectively used as a form of therapy in those days due to the lack of knowledge about blood circulation and the therapeutic results a massage can bring about.
  • I'd suggest someone trained in remedial massage, as they have to have intimate knowledge of the body and how it all works.
    As said above, anyone can claim to be a masseuse, but the training may be minimal or perhaps non-existent.
    Often physios have a remedial massage service available.
    I can highly recommend remedial massage-been having it for over a year.
    But do be careful.
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