Intervertebral hernias in humans are formed as a result of the rupture of the disc ring and displacement after that from the normal location of its nucleus.
A pathological violation of the natural, physiological position of the disc leads to the fact that the endings of the nerves and the vessels passing next to the vertebrae are compressed, and this is the main reason for the occurrence of intense pain in the disease, restrictions on the performance of ordinary movements and various changes in sensitivity.
Treatment of intervertebral hernias is carried out in polyclinics and hospitals using a conservative (more details here) and surgical method.
First, a conservative course of therapy is selected, including not only the use of a group of medicines, but also physiotherapy, exercise therapy for hernia, treatment in sanatoriums. The effectiveness of therapy for the disease is also increased if regular courses of the correctly selected type of therapeutic massage are carried out.
Why massage is necessary for a hernia of the spine
Massage is a forceful contact effect on different parts of the human body, performed by a specialist with the help of fingers and hands, it is possible to use additional devices.
With herniated intervertebral discs, the spinal canal narrows steadily , as a result of which the circulation of blood through the vessels, the passage of impulses from the compressed plexuses of nerves is disrupted.
All this leads not only to severe pain and to pathological disturbance of the movements performed, but also to pronounced changes in the functioning of the most important internal organs.
Correctly selected and performed by a health worker, massage relieves tension and tightness from muscles, increases blood flow to the affected area, and increases important biochemical processes in cells.
As a result of this positive change for the body, discomfort in a sick person decreases, the regeneration of altered cells in the disc and the vertebra itself increases.
The goals of massage therapy
For patients with revealed protrusions of the disc in the spine, massage is prescribed after the relief of an acute attack of the disease with a therapeutic purpose.
The main purpose of prescribing these procedures by a doctor is to restore the natural, inherent in nature, functioning of the entire ligamentous apparatus in the area of pathological changes in the structure and tissues of the disc in the spine.
In addition to the main goal, the doctor, when prescribing a course of massage, always takes into account the additional positive qualities of this type of manual, known from antiquity, therapeutic therapy.
A massage session performed by a qualified specialist provides:
- A noticeable decrease or complete cessation of pain.
- Elimination of muscle and ligament tension in the area of disc protrusion .
- Facilitate movement.
- Reducing the risk of transition of the active stage of disc pathology to chronic.
- Acceleration of the recovery of the ability of a sick person to normal life.
Massage must necessarily be carried out in combination with therapeutic physical exercises. A set of exercises specially selected by the therapist will allow you to consolidate the muscle groups relaxed after the massage in the desired physiological position.
The procedure is carried out in a course consisting of 10-20 sessions; it is always recommended that a course developed for a particular patient be carried out at least twice a year.
Massage for patients with identified hernias of any part of the spinal column should always be prescribed by the treating neurologist.
When choosing a massage technique, the time and total duration of massage, the doctor takes into account the general well-being of his patient at the time of contacting the doctor, and all changes in the spine identified as a result of diagnostic manipulations and procedures.
If you assign yourself any type of massage effects on your own, then this can lead to very serious negative health consequences. It is also necessary to understand that the special technique of influencing physiological points on the body is mastered only by a specialist who has undergone special training.
Therefore, you should not trust your health to dubious people. When prescribing a course of massage for a hernia of the cervical and lumbar spine, the doctor must find out if there are any contraindications to it.
The procedure is not performed for a sick person in the following situations:
- In the acute phase of the disease.
- During the period of febrile syndrome, that is, with fever and chills.
- In the presence of pustules on the skin of the back, an infectious dermatological lesion.
- With oncology in a patient. It is strictly forbidden to carry out massage if there are metastases in the spine.
- Patients with hypertensive crisis.
- During pregnancy.
- Tuberculosis of any bones and osteomyelitis.
It is possible to temporarily abandon the recommended therapeutic massage session even if you feel unwell before performing it. If pain intensifies during the procedure, it is also necessary to interrupt the session immediately and consult a doctor.
Qualified masseurs know different massage techniques. It is always necessary to choose the form and type of such a therapeutic effect, taking into account the location of the hernia, its size, the patient’s age and the general symptoms of the disease.
The main types of manual massage for the back, used for hernias in the spine, include:
- Classic, it is also known under the term general.
- Canned (also called vacuum).
Before the procedures, you must definitely ask your doctor what type of massage technique he can recommend in your case, taking into account the location of the hernia and its effect on the nerve endings and blood vessels.
Each type of restorative massage is performed with a specific and consistent application of various techniques for influencing the body. Some of these techniques are painful, while others are relaxing and even soothing.
Often, the patient is first given a classic massage for preparation, and then they move on to a point or segmental massage, that is, to a directed effect on the location of the hernia.
Classical massage is prescribed for protrusions of altered discs of any part of the spine, it is this type of influence that is chosen for pathology of the cervical vertebrae.
The main methods of this type of massage:
As a result of the phased implementation of all these actions, certain changes occur in tense muscles, skin and the vertebrae themselves. With the correct execution of the classic massage, the following goals are achieved:
- The outflow of blood improves and therefore, the edema that develops in the inflamed muscles decreases.
- The tone of the nervous system changes. Depending on the vigor of the movements performed, the specialist can tone up or, on the contrary, reduce the excitability of the NS.
- Discomfort, unpleasant in their manifestations and painful sensations decrease.
- Spasmodic muscles relax .
- Metabolic processes are improved.
- The physiological mobility of all vertebrae increases.
- Pathological deposits in the tissues of the spinal column are absorbed.
- Cell repair reactions are enhanced.
The patient can notice positive changes in his feelings already after the first therapeutic session of general massage.
Segmental massage technique is based on the effect on the paravertebral region, that is, on the place where the roots of the spinal cord exit from the spine.
Working with hands with special techniques of the desired area on the body improves the functional state and work of this particular place of the spine.
When a specialist performs an impact on a selected area, such techniques as pressing, kneading, intensive rubbing are performed.
Segmental massage differs from general massage in only a few parameters:
- The timing of the event. It does not take more than 30 minutes.
- Greater efficiency, since only a separate segment of the spine is well worked out during the session.
- The increase in the therapeutic effect on the spine occurs gently and gradually from the upper layers to the deeper ones.
- No greasy creams or other means for lubricating the skin are used. With segmental massage, it is important to determine the sensitivity of the tissues to the effects, and the application of ointments complicates the diagnosis.
Segmental massage should be prescribed individually.
The basis of the Swedish massage technique is a classic one, but when it is performed by masseurs, all layers of muscles are touched and worked out. The Swedish technique is performed with bent fingers, it is aimed at rubbing and intensive healing kneading.
The features of this massage system include:
- Deep impact from above with kneading of all muscles almost to the bone.
- The direction of all movements during the session from the central point to the periphery.
- Using long and soft blows.
- Stretching the muscles.
A properly performed Swedish type of massage, in addition to eliminating pathologies associated with the formation of an intervertebral hernia, also has a powerful psychotherapeutic effect.
After a session of such an impact, mood improves, the depressive state passes, and the correct mood for recovery is created.
The vacuum-canned massage technique combines two procedures at once, this is directly kneading the muscles and the effect of rarefied air.
Under the jar in the skin, optimal conditions are created to enhance blood circulation. As a result, the pathologically altered muscles in the zone of therapeutic action relax as much as possible, congestion disappears, and pain sensations decrease.
The vacuum improves the nutrition of all tissues, removes the accumulated toxic substances from the skin cells. Cupping massage is carried out using ordinary glass jars, as an option, you can use plastic pneumatic ones.
Vacuum-cupping massage can be carried out at home and independently, taking into account several main points when performing the procedure. The features of this type of massage include:
- Mandatory creation of rarefied air in the used can, while the skin should be raised by at least 1 cm.
- Before applying the can, the back must be lubricated with massage cream or petroleum jelly, this is required to ensure ease of sliding.
- During the session, the person does not feel almost any uncomfortable sensations for himself. A slight burning sensation and warmth indicate the correct performance of the cupping massage.
- Session time no more than 15 minutes.
- Continuous and smooth straight lines, sliding, various zigzag movements of the bank are used. The movements are performed by the masseur from top to bottom and should always coincide with the course of the lymphatic and blood vessels.
After the cupping massage, the patient is required to just lie down for about 40 minutes. Do not be afraid of the appearance of bruises and purple stains on the body after using the cans.
It is believed that bruises are an indicator that the massage was performed professionally and the body has launched protective and restorative mechanisms.
Acupressure or acupressure is an effect with the hands on biologically active points on the body. The technique of this type of massage can be learned only after special courses. The force of pressure on the points, the time of pressing and the area of influence are selected based on the condition of the patient and the pathology of the spine.
During the session, a rather strong soreness can be felt, but the effectiveness of treatment after such a procedure is visible almost immediately.
Thai massage is a whole complex of health procedures, specially selected for a sick person. During the session, the master uses deep pressure on the muscles, stretching, acupressure, activates the flow of energy in the human body.
The main goal is to restore energy balance in the human body, which leads to an improvement in general well-being and accelerates the regeneration of cells and tissues.
Performing a honey massage consists of using honey and patting movements. First, natural honey is applied to the skin of the back, you can add fir, eucalyptus, mummy oil to it. Then, with the help of the palms, they begin to detach and stick.
The use of such techniques allows you to increase blood circulation and promotes the penetration of all trace elements and biologically active substances of honey into the subcutaneous layers.
How to do the procedure
There are certain parameters and rules that must be taken into account when performing a massage procedure for patients with intervertebral hernias.
- In case of hernias, massage must be performed only by a qualified and experienced massage therapist.
- A massage course must be prescribed by a doctor, taking into account all contraindications.
- During the session, the specialist selects the patient’s posture depending on the area of impact on the spine.
- The procedure is carried out carefully, there should be no sharp, pronounced pain.
- With hernias, it is forbidden to carry out sharp movements, twisting, rotation, twitching, as this contributes to the further exit of the nucleus from the annulus fibrosus.
- The first session is short-lived and gentle, then the time and strength of the impact gradually increases.
Massage prescribed for intervertebral hernias will certainly speed up recovery, but only if all the recommended conditions for its implementation are fully observed.