Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can a massage actually hurt my back?"
I'm a 29 year old woman and the massage I had yesterday hurt very bad. It still hurts the next morning and not in the good way. Is this possible?
Yes, occasionally massage work can be damaging to your body. Generally, massage therapists are trained carefully to be able to recognize warning signs from symptoms or medical history that they should not be performing certain techniques. This is because some conditions, such as pinched nerves or bulging discs in the back may be worsened by deep and direct pressure over the area. Occasionally, deep massage work can also cause worsening of muscle spasms that can be quite painful. I would recommend that you go to see your primary care doctor. You will need a careful examination of your back to figure out what is going on and what treatments need to be done. In the meantime you should rest and apply heat periodically to the area for pain relief. Also, anti inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or naprosyn will be of some use. I would also tell your doctor about what happened during the massage and how you felt before and after it was over. Based on this, your doctor can probably provide some guidelines for you and for your massage therapy about specific techniques that should be avoided in the future so as to avoid a repeat episode like this one!
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