Hard on the back?

  1. hello all:
    I am considering taking MT but I am wondering if it will be too physical. I have had back problems for 7 years and if i move something heavy or bend for too long a period, my back really can act up! So, ofcourse, I don't to add injury to harm.
    Thanks for responses,
    sun
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   nurseyperson
    Well, it depends... 1. what kind of massage therapy are you planning on doing? Some energy work, craniosacral, etc. is a lot of touching and holding, not as physical. The kind I do, neuromuscular therapy, is more physical work. I get deep at times, push, pull, stretch, and if the people are large, it can be difficult. Of course you must always use proper body mechanics, and do the stretches and exercises that you advise for your clients. And make sure your table, chair, etc. is at the right height for you.
    Do you have an actual injury or just pain, etc? The things you should learn in school will teach you some reasons for the back pain, such as poor posture, the structural imbablances which can cause pain and you can do something about.
    I actually have a "bad back" also...a herniated disc L5-S1, and as long as I take care of my body, it is OK. Lots of stretches of the HIP FLEXORS (anterior) to keep them from overpowering the posterior muscles and causing an imabalance there. Actually, you would be surprised how much back pain comes from
    RELATIVELY weak butt muscles.
    I also have a bad neck! I have been in a couple car wrecks with whiplash. That is what gives me the most problems, tightening up when I work. But if you have someone who can work on you, and again, keep yourself in shape, you can be OK
    Right now my hands and wrists are sore...not sure if from overwork or improper positioning while doing tripgger point therapy... so working on myself and stretch, taking nutrients that are supposed to help joint function, etc.
    So....yes, it can be hard on you, but if you take care of yourself you can do it
  4. by   sunyatta
    Hi...thanks for your reply...well i pulled my back when i was starting out as a nurse on an ortho floor and ever since then, i have had problems... i was on pain meds for the first year or two before i realized that i did not want to continue to live that way... before then, i was in great health, except i always had pretty WEAK stomach muscles, which i blame for much of my problems. i began taking care of myself, energy work mostly, meditating and so on. Never got my stomach in very good shape yet...anyway, it sounds like to understand energy work, so i will tell you that, i have tried to get into nursing again but i become blocked and my back starts really hurting ...i become stiff and achy all over...i really react negatively when trying to pursue nursing now! So, i love energy work and want to do something where i can utilize more. i feel that if i am a LMT, i will have more opportunities to introduce energy healing to my clients. do you know what i mean? but in the process, i don't want to hurt my back more. most likely, i will heal my back this way, but i really wanted some input from an expert and i am grateful that you answered my letter. thanks for listening. may i ask why you chose your line of work? are you a nurse too?
    thanks,
    peace....sharon
  5. by   nurseyperson
    I am an RN, work mostly adult and neo critical care, PRN now. Since I have had back problems and have gone thru epidural steroid injections, trigger point injections, pain meds, muscle relaxants, TENS units and chiropractic. My chiropractor is fairly new and did some trigger point work on me, and I found that helped a lot more than most things, getting to the root of the problem, not just covering the symptoms.
    Then my 6 year old daughter said that for her birthday, all she wanted was for me to be home more...I was going for days and not seeing her awake, with the 12 hour shifts and driving 40 miles. So this is what I came up with an am extremely happy. I own my business and can take off for school things, my daughter can walk to my office after schools, etc.
    Good luck!!!!
  6. by   PsychNurseDee
    I too have neck problems (ruptured discs at C5 &6). As a massage therapy student (and RN of 17 years)...massage therapy has been wonderful for me. Some of it can be physically demanding, but body mechanics as well as recieving bodywork has made it very comfortable for me. Best of luck. Let me know how you are doing!!
    Dedee
  7. by   susanna
    my experience, yah, ive given maybe only 40 massages in my life but that stuff exhausts me and makes my muscles tight and my hands swollen.
  8. by   TouchRN
    I have been practicing massage full time for the past 15years. I have never had an injury related to this work! I hurt my back just out of nursing school over 25 years ago and the only thing that really worked was getting massage.
    It is important to learn proper body mechanics, have your massage table at an appropriate level (always use a good massage table with face cradle, etc), and receive bodywork yourself. It is also important to be in good shape and be on a physical work out program that includes strength training. Yoga and stretching are good.
    You should also listen to your body and honor what it is telling you.
    Remember, when giving massage, you use your whole body, not just your arms and hands. You should learn all about using your body and good body mechanics when you go to school.
    Another point is a therapist (nurse) should receive a full body massage for every ten massages given.
    Self care is most important.
    Good luck!

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