Slipped discs are not to be handled lightly. A slipped disc is a painful injury that happens along the spine, mostly in the lower back or neck region. In between each vertebrae, there are gel-like cushions in the shape of a record or CD, hence the name disc. These gel discs act as shock absorbents for the spine as the human body moves through any physical activity including running, walking, bending, or lifting weight. There are different injuries that can occur to these discs if a person does not take care of their posture, weight, or muscle strength as they move throughout the day.
A slipped disc, or herniated disc, is one of the major injuries a spine can endure. Each disc in the spine is enclosed in a hard cartilage that keeps the soft gel in place, allowing the hard vertebrae bones and soft discs to be stacked on top of each other. Sometimes that hard cartilage will crack or degenerate, which can cause some of the soft gel of the disc to “slip” or push out from the weight of the body putting pressure against the spine. Once the disc begins to push out of place, it can place pressure against the thousands of nerves along the spine and the muscles around the area often spasm.
A herniated disc needs to be taken care of immediately. If a slipped disc occurs, you must rest for at least four weeks, or follow any directions by a doctor. Sometimes if a protruding disc is not cared for instantly, greater measures must be taken including surgery, which is the last option you want to take because there are so many risks involved in spinal surgery. If you do get instant care from a doctor, they will often suggest resting for an extended period of time along with taking an anti-inflammatory medication like Motrin or Tylenol.
Massage can be a form of therapy for a slipped disc. Herniated disc treatment is often referred to physical therapy where a physical therapist will work specific exercises with the patient and sometimes massages the sore muscles. It is important if you have a herniated disc to talk to a doctor before receiving any sort of therapy. If the slipped disc is not too serious the doctor might suggest easy stretches or even massage.
It is very imperative that if you do get massage therapy for your slipped disc that you inform the massage therapist of your condition because you do not want them to push too hard around the disc. If they apply too much pressure on or around the disc the surrounding muscles could spasm even more or pinch nerves that could force the disc to protrude even more. This could turn a small physical problem into a very fragile, serious one. However, if you do communicate the severity of your spine’s condition with your massage therapist you could easily relieve a lot of the pain from a gentle massage around the muscles.