Massage after fractures: I am wondering if... - Bone Health

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Massage after fractures

eannj profile image

I am wondering if anyone has had regular massages after vertebral fractures and height loss. Could massage help the back muscles strengthen and readjust to their new positions? TIA

14 Replies

Hi, I have 3 fractured vertebrae and have lost about 2½ inches in height. Over the last year I've been going to a private physiotherapist who has been giving me exercises which I do regularly at home. She also gives me a good massage each visit. Initially I was seeing her fortnightly but gradually reduced to about every 6 weeks now. The combination has been hugely helpful in terms of posture and strength and reduction in pain. Hope this is helpful!

eannj profile image
eannj in reply to Polkadot62

Thank you for your response Polkadot62 . Please can you tell me if you had pain in your muscles after the massage. I have been seeing a massage therapist but always have pain in my hips and lower back for 24 hours or so afterwards. This week however I have been in pain for 4 days so far. Surely this can't be right?

Polkadot62 profile image
Polkadot62 in reply to eannj

I don't usually have any pain after the massage, just feel pretty tired which I think is fairly normal. I don't know if experiencing pain afterwards is anything to be worried about, can you get any professional advice about that? Good luck anyway, I do hope you get some improvement soon

eannj profile image
eannj in reply to Polkadot62

Thank you so much x

Hi Eannj. When I last went for a massage the therapist was very wary. She said her mother had osteoporosis and deep tissue massage should be avoided. I don’t think a massage should cause pain especially for several days. I visit a physio fairly regularly to correct my wonky bits. I had a bad hip alignment and developed an irregular way of walking after wearing a foot brace following fracture in my foot. Often the physio treatment involves a fair bit of massage but that always feels good either straight after, or the following day. Have you tried a physio who is knowledgeable about osteoporosis? I do Pilates with a teacher who has expertise in what to avoid. One of her classes is specifically for bone strength. Classes in London Borough of Richmond. Best wishes Ruth

eannj profile image
eannj in reply to ruthmunby

Thank you ruthmunby . I feel reassured after your comments. I don't know why I could believe that pain was ok! Unfortunately I live in the heart of Worcestershire so there are no osteoporosis aware exercise classes available here. However I have found a couple of experts on line and do the Sara Meeks alignment protocol regularly. I don't have a lot of faith in the local physios I'm afraid as they didn't recognise my condition and treated me incorrectly, but there is one knowledgeable osteopath who helped diagnose me and I have made an appointment with him for next week. I hope he will offer me some more appropriate treatment.Best wishes, Ann

Hi Anne. I always used to go to osteopaths and I was recommended to a functional osteopath in Earlsfield London. She was v good. I switched to the physio partly because of ease of transport and she had more specific exercises that sorted my hip. An Osteo told me experts who look at research as to what works there’s often more of an overlap in their approach. I went to a chiropractor who did very painful and probably risky manipulations to “correct” my less than perfect posture probably caused by stress fractures in my spine. I still feel cross! I think it was that particular person rather than chiros as a whole. My good osteo and good physio both said if the treatment is too vigorous and causes pain your body will kick back and delay healing. I recommend an exercise book by Margaret Martin (?) a Canadian physio with special interest in osteoporosis. Can’t put my hand on it at the moment but it has different exercises for different fitness levels. If you do get the book you could ask your osteo to look at the exercises to check he is happy they’re suitable for you as an individual. I got my osteo and physio to film me doing exercises they gave me with my iPhone and talk through technique at same time as it’s so easy to forget by the time you get home! I think Margaret Martin has videos online. Yoga helps keep me flexible though there are some positions you need to avoid or adapt. Best wishes Ruth ps I’ll look up Sara Meeks

eannj profile image
eannj in reply to ruthmunby

Thank you @ruthmumby. I have both of Margaret Martin's exercise books and have been working through them. I used to be so fit and flexible as I have been doing yoga for over 30 years and I loved to dance and walk miles in the countryside. Maybe in 3 years or so I will be able to return to doing some of the things I loved before. Trying to stay positive in spite of continual set backs. A x

I have several vertebal fractures. My T7 is flat. I lost 1" in height. I started massages after 1 year from accident as I spent that year exercising and strengthening my entire body. I had the lady start slowly and now she has worked me up to where we both feel comfortable with her massaging the muscles in my back. I feel that they help, mostly because they are so relaxing. I fractured back in Sept 2018 and had pain in my back somewhere everyday for over 2 years. I seemed as though the pain would move. I think it is because as you become more rounded the vertebrae press on different nerves. I also had numbness in my back throughout the 2 years. But I kept exercising every day and also started aquatic exercises which helped tremendously and I still do them today about 4 or 5 times a week. I still had back pain but it was more manageable. However, I want to share with you what I have done recently since Christmas and so far I have had little or no pain in my back. I bought the Thermotex Platinum infrared heating pad from their website. It was highly recommended by Bob and Brad physical therapists on youtube. I also for the last year and half done their resistance band workouts and they really helped me too. So when they recommended the pad for pain. I had to give it a try. It has made a world of difference for me and for my husband who has knee stiffness. He has osteoarthritis in both knees but fortunately not a lot of pain, just stiffnes. He uses it under his knees and he too has been very pleased with the results. He thinks it has helped with inflammation. We following the directions carefully and did the treatment schedule as the manufacturer recommends. Through Bob and Brad you can get a discount. It is pricey but for us it was been worth it. Also, I fought going on Forteo injections but finally decided I had to do something to make my bones last my longevity. I am a -3.7 in all areas on my last dexa scan. Since I have chronic leukemia I will eventually have to go on treatment and when you do they automatically put you on bone drugs. So I figure I might as well get a jump on it and get my bones in better shape before I have to go on cancer treatment. I have been on it since November and so far no side effects. It is a pin injection and it really is no big deal to take each day.

eannj profile image
eannj in reply to Mbaloo

Thank you so much for your comments Mbaloo . I will look into the infrared pad you recommended. Sending you my very best wishes for a successful cancer treatment. X

Mbaloo profile image
Mbaloo in reply to eannj

Nice to hear back from you. Please read over the instructions carefully. I also want to note that I contacted our doctors before I bought it to get their OK. Also I think if you have any kind of implant, like new hip or knee you can't use it but as always check with your doctor.

eannj profile image
eannj in reply to Mbaloo

Thank you!

I've always wanted deeper tissue massage, but can no longer tolerate it with having fractures.

Ive always been told to expect discomfort for at least a day. When I first go home, to use ice packs off and on for 20 minute intervals. The massage stirs up inflammation and the ice reduces the inflammation.

I'm at my sister's, in a different state (I live in the United States) and went to someone for a medical massage and was in pain for days....not going back to that person!

eannj profile image
eannj in reply to beckyiswell

Thank you for your comments beckyiswell At least I'm not the only one who experiences pain after massage! I will try ice packs next time. Ann

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