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Deep Tissue Massage has caused me months of pain

Hi, can someone please help me figure out how to get rid of my back pain?
5 months ago, I had a deep tissue massage and it was very painful. After a day or so most of the pain went away but there are two points at the upper part of my back which have been very painful ever since. I've been to the doctor and they gave me a bunch of exercises to do, but it only makes it worse. Whenever I try to stand up straight my back just kills. It's not in the spine but just next to it on both sides, where the masseuse pushed down with her thumbs extremely hard.
It's been 5 months and no sign of it getting better so if someone has any idea about what to do to fix it I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you.


  • The area you described giving you trouble is the area I have experienced muscle spasms fo years. Maybe you should ask your doctor for a short term prescription for a muscle relaxer to free up that area.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.

  • I was told not to have a deep tissue massage on my back or neck.
    I guess this is because it can cause problems.

    Like dbarbeau, I was wondering if it could be tight muscles. Have you tried hot and cold to see if that will increase the blood flow and reduce the tightness?
    5 months does seem like a very long time to still be in pain from this. I'm glad that you have been to see your doctor but sorry to hear that the exercises are making it worse.
    Perhaps you should go back to the doctor and let them know that these are making things worse. They may have another idea and may decide to look deeper into what could be causing your pain.

    I really hope that things will improve soon. After 5 months I suspect that it is not going to go away on its own.

    Good luck. :-)
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  • what is your specific type of back pain? is it herniated disc, is it back spasims, is it tight muscles? if it is a herniated disc, massage won't help and i woiuld not go to a chiro to get help. they tend to make things worse than better and they always say your back is out of allignment. i have had massage, and it is the only type of therapy that helps. it relaxes me. i fon't use it for pain relief, i use it for relaxation. so please be specific about what type of back pain and has it been diagnosed by a doctor, not a chiropractor.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • BigRBBigR Posts: 48
    edited 10/02/2013 - 5:07 AM
    My wife is a nationally licensed massage therapist and also teaches massage therapy at a local college and I don't think that a massage therapist is supposed to do deep tissue next to the spine. I know they are not supposed to work on the spine at all but I don't think they are supposed to use any real hard pressure next to it either. I'll ask her this evening for sure. I know when she works on me, she can just barely touch my back next to my spine and I come off the bed - hurts something terrible. You may have more going on in there than you know of and the massage brought it out. I'd have that checked out asap.

    I'll let you know what my wife says this evening.
    5 MRIs since 2010 | Severe DDD throughout entire Lumbar Region | Facet Arthrosis throughout | Spinal Canal Stenosis | Herniation L4/L5 | Broad - Based Bulging L1/L2, L2/3, L3/L4 - but still kicking - just not very high. :)
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,526
    and there are massage therapists. Just like any professional, some are better than others. Various states have different laws governing who can call themselves a massage therapist and any kind. In CT, you can read an article, some paperwork and you are a massage therapist!

    I''ve been under the care of a Thai Massage specialist. Some call it Deep Tissue Massage, a lot of the medical field call it Soft Tissue massage. Its a combination of pure Thai massage ( which is done with clothes completely on) a;nd Deep Tissue.

    It is painful, at times very, depending on what areas of the body is being worked on. My specialist concentrates on the Spine, cervical, thoracic and lumbar along with all the muscles and nerves that are connected. My physical therapist shudder when they hear about some of his treatments and how he does them. But he has kept me walking!

    But under no situations, should work done be a trained therapist would cause you the pain you are having and for that much time
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • You are correct Ron, there are massage therapists and then there are people who play them on TV.... :)

    Here in Alabama a massage therapist has to earn a degree and also pass state board plus pass national board before they are issued a license to practice. And if I'm not mistaken, if a massage therapist moves here from another state and are not nationally certified they have to go and pass state & national board before they are issued a license, which means they have to go to college. If they are nationally certified when they move here they only have to pass state board. Alabama is very strict when it comes to massage therapists. They also have to have x amount of CEU hours every 2 years or they lose their license, same as a nurse practitioner. My wife could go back to school for another (I think) year or 18 months and become a physical therapist, that's how strict Alabama is.

    You are also correct that a massage shouldn't leave you sore like that. I know I am sore when I get off the table and may be sore or stiff for a day or two following but it usually leaves rather quickly.
    5 MRIs since 2010 | Severe DDD throughout entire Lumbar Region | Facet Arthrosis throughout | Spinal Canal Stenosis | Herniation L4/L5 | Broad - Based Bulging L1/L2, L2/3, L3/L4 - but still kicking - just not very high. :)
  • AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
    edited 10/02/2013 - 9:14 AM
    You are lucky, I would love to have an 'in house' massage therapist, sounds wonderful
  • Yeah, but she tells me she don't bring her work home with her.... :)
    5 MRIs since 2010 | Severe DDD throughout entire Lumbar Region | Facet Arthrosis throughout | Spinal Canal Stenosis | Herniation L4/L5 | Broad - Based Bulging L1/L2, L2/3, L3/L4 - but still kicking - just not very high. :)
  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    i am sure that you will find your time on spine-health very rewarding. this site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    here are just some of the highlights:

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    - under the resource tab, there is a section doctor advice health center which can be invaluable.

    - as a bonus, spine-health provides these patient forums. here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. you will soon become part of the spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. you are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 international members and growing daily.

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    here are some you should take a look at:
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    all of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

    if you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the private message facility to contact any one of the moderators on my team:







    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi Camilla,

    Did your problem resolve. I had a similar experience, and have been suffering from this extreme pain for 3 months now. It seems to originate in two points in mid back around spine. It cause lot of pulling, spasms and tightness. Nothing seemed to be helping. MRI came back normal, so not sure what to do next.



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