woman massaging for spinal stenosis
Health and Wellness

Is Massage Good for Spinal Stenosis?

Dec 22, 2022

The spine is one of the most important components of your body, consisting of a system of ligaments, bones, vertebrae, and spinal discs that work together to keep the body upright and absorb shock throughout regular movements of every day. Over time, the wear and tear on our spines may develop into symptoms of spinal stenosis such as pain, weakness, cramps, or numbness.


For those experiencing spinal stenosis, finding a way to ease symptoms and manage the condition is vital. Oftentimes patients ask, “is massage good for spinal stenosis?” The good news is, it may be an effective option! Today, let’s talk about pairing spinal stenosis and massage to improve your daily life and keep you as pain-free as possible.

What Is Spinal Stenosis?


Before we journey into exploring the potential positive relationship between spinal stenosis and massage, what exactly is this condition? Most common in people over 50, with women being more statistically at risk than men, spinal stenosis is the diagnosis of what happens when the spinal canal narrows and creates pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots. The excess pressure on the spine reduces space between vertebrae and discs, adding pressure on these nerves that commonly manifests as neck or lower back pain.


Even though it may be most common in those over 50, spinal stenosis can happen to anyone even before then. Many athletes or other active persons choose to get regular massages to ensure they stay in top condition and proactively take care of their spines to minimize spinal stenosis symptoms from the extra wear and tear they put on their bodies.


While some people living with spinal stenosis show few to no symptoms. For others, the spinal compression causing spinal stenosis may also result in sciatica symptoms, other nerve pains, or even problems with bladder or bowel control. 


Pairing spinal stenosis and massage is a popular method for managing symptoms naturally, but you should consult your doctor before beginning any new forms of treatment to ensure it's safe for you to do so.

Does Massage Help Spinal Stenosis?


How is massage good for spinal stenosis, you’re wondering?  Massage therapy can be an effective treatment for the pain and stiffness caused by stenosis. In fact, studies have been done showing the potential benefits of massage for spinal stenosis as a method for managing symptoms and alleviating chronic back pain.


Long strokes, gentle kneading, and other types of massage technique movements relax the back and reduce pressure on compressed nerves. Adding in the benefits of heat therapy to massage may also enhance how massage is good for spinal stenosis. The combination of massage and heat therapy increases blood circulation throughout the body, allowing the spine to heal faster, rehydrating discs, and providing general lower back pain relief.

Swedish Massage for Spinal Stenosis


The most popular technique for pairing spinal stenosis and massage is the Swedish massage method. Swedish massage is a classic therapeutic massage that manipulates muscles for relaxation and recovery, which can be very effective in reducing pain caused by spinal stenosis. Its focus is to help you feel relaxed but also aims to boost energy levels and improve your overall health. The technique achieves this through a variety of movements intended to manipulate the muscles in your body.


While the answer to the question, “is massage good for spinal stenosis?” is often yes, it will depend on the severity of your symptoms and your overall health. Depending on the level of your spinal stenosis, Swedish massage benefits might be delivered using movements ranging from light effleurage to deep friction techniques.

Best Way to Get a Massage for Spinal Stenosis


There’s no exploring “does massage help spinal stenosis?” without discussing the best way to get a massage for spinal stenosis, as well. As spinal stenosis pain can come and go, it can be tricky to get a massage for it at the right time. Once you’re experiencing symptoms, you want relief right away, but fitting a massage therapy appointment into your schedule or before slots are booked up may be a challenge.


Instead of going to a traditional appointment with a massage therapist, many people living with spinal stenosis have turned to the benefits of owning a massage chair at home. If your doctor has given you the green light for using massage to treat spinal stenosis, having a luxury massage chair at home gives you relief at the touch of a button whenever you need it. No need for making an appointment, making it through a late-night flair up, or mounting costs of ongoing massage appointments over time. A massage chair pays for itself many times over in convenience, functionality, and comfort.


Is massage good for spinal stenosis when it’s coming from a chair instead of a masseuse? Absolutely. The advancements in today’s full body massage chair models have effectively eliminated any difference between using a massage chair vs human massage. With 3D and 4D massage chair options available, rollers do more than go up and down the spine. You can also be in control of speed, intensity, and experience how they move in a wide range of motions.


Additional massage chair features like heat therapy and zero gravity position reclining elevate your massage to the next level, providing spinal stenosis symptom relief when you need it most. Don’t settle for having to risk living with pain until you can get into a massage appointment. Choose a massage chair for your home that meets all your needs and is a benefit to people of all ages and lifestyles.


So, does massage help spinal stenosis? It certainly may! Speak to your doctor to see if pairing spinal stenosis and massage is right for you. Once they’ve approved of this new treatment method, see how a massage chair can improve your quality of life and get back to living pain-free as quickly as possible.


Unsure which massage chair is right for you? Check out the Ogawa Active L 3D Massage Chair featuring the SL massage track, where your body is cradled as each muscle along the spine is cared for with 3D Quad Rollers.
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