The spine is the stack of little bones (vertebrae) along the middle of the back. It runs from the seat of the lower back to the neck.
The spine also enables humans to sit upright or stand erect. And it supports the upper back, shoulders, and neck.
Furthermore, the spine is a very sensitive part of the human body, vulnerable to injuries and damage. Hence you should take precautions when it comes to handling your spine.
In this article, we will find out if we can use massage guns and massage therapy to treat injuries associated with your spine.
So Can You Use Massage Gun On Spine
Many medical experts advise against using a massage gun or theragun directly over an area of your spine. This is because the spine is a delicate part of your body. However, they suggest massage therapy is much more suitable for your spine than using a massage gun.
Does Massage Help Spine Pain?
Yes, massage therapy can be an effective add-on to conventional medical care for alleviating spine pain. It can relieve you of discomfort and help you recover faster. In weeks or months, spinal massage can reduce your pains.
Also, when you have a spinal condition, massage treatment can help keep your spine mobile. This is vital for the general health of the spine.
Benefits Of Spinal Massage
Mentioned below are some benefits of spinal massage:
#1. Improved Blood Flow
Massaging your spine improves blood flow and circulation of nutrients to the bone, cartilage, ligaments, and muscles. Also, improved delivery of nutrients to the spine lowers inflammation and cartilage wearing between the spine. This helps to alleviate pains and discomfort.
#2. Release Feel-good Hormones
Massage therapy is a treatment that allows you to feel good. Furthermore, regular massage can alter your body chemistry and trigger the release of endorphins, a hormone that helps block pain signals to the brain. Massage therapy helps you feel relaxed, and as a result, you observe a considerable decrease in your pains.
#3. Reduce Muscle Tension
Regular massage sessions can help relieve your muscles of tension and strains, which can cause pains and spinal injuries.
Other benefits include;
- Reduce Tightness And Tension
- Assist in preventing muscle spasms
- Relieve inflammation and irritation
Types Of Massage For The Spine
A spinal expert, Dr. Melamed, recommended various massage techniques that can be effective for your spinal condition. Here are the best suitable types of massage for your spine:
#1. Swedish Massage
This classic massage is a feel-good massage that releases those hormones that help alleviate pains. Swedish massage is relaxing and suitable for spine pains.
This type of massage focuses on increasing the flow of energy. The shiatsu massage is Japanese styled and incorporates special techniques to enhance the loosening of trigger points.
#3. Trigger Point Massage
This massage is also referred to as Neuromuscular massage or myotherapy. The trigger point massage targets the knots in your back which results in radiating pain that may affect the mobility of your spine.
Note: Massage therapy is not suitable for everyone with a spinal condition. For example, if you just had spinal surgery or osteoporosis, massage treatment is not the best option. However, most doctors recommend massage treatment when they think it would benefit and cause no harm to you.
Swedish Massage vs. Deep Tissue Spinal Cord Massages
You must understand the differences between the various massage techniques before using them on your spine. For instance, the primary distinction between a deep tissue massage and a Swedish massage (also, relaxation massage therapy) is the amount of force or pressure applied to your body.
Furthermore, the focus of deep tissue massage mainly affects the deepest muscle tissue layers and their surrounding fascia. As a result, deep tissue massage can worsen an existing condition instead of alleviating it.
Side Effects of Deep Tissue And Other Non-Relaxation Massage Techniques
If you’re feeling pains around your spine areas, it’s crucial to select massage techniques that will not further aggravate the condition.
Mentioned below are some of the side effects of deep tissue massage and other non-relaxation massage therapy:
- Minor contusions (bruising)
- Nerve lesions
- Cervical spinal cord injury
- Rhabdomyolysis (muscle crush)
- Severe headaches,
- Cervical internal carotid and vertebral dissection
- Acute paraplegia
When To See A Doctor
When you experience mild pains in your spine or back, home treatment like massage can help improve your situation. Nevertheless, you must see a doctor if your spine pains;
- Is severe and doesn’t improve with rest
- Continue for more than a few weeks
- Spreads down one or both legs, mainly if the pain goes below the knee
- Is accompanied by unexplained weight loss
- Results in numbness, weakness, or tingling in one or both legs
- Is accompanied by fever
- Leads to bladder or bowel challenge
- It follows a blow to your back, fall, or other injuries
This article shows that using the massage gun directly on your spine is a bad idea. Also, relaxation massage techniques like Swedish massage are beneficial for spine pains and spinal cord injury recovery. People with spinal cord injuries should possibly avoid deep tissue massage.
Lastly, you need to consult your doctor before adopting any massage technique. This will help you clarify whether massage therapy is a viable option for your spinal cord injuries.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is a result of in-depth research on the subject matter. This article is only for informational and educational purposes, and it’s not intended as medical or health advice. Hence, I suggest you always ensure to seek the opinion of your doctor or other qualified health personnel regarding any questions that relate to health objectives or medical conditions