Massage and Osteoporosis?

I had a 10 minute chair massage at an art festival. The next morning I had sharp pain down my left arm, left shoulder blade area, numbness in my first two fingers and thumb on left hand. My primary physician performed Xrays of neck, said I had some degeneration and arthritis. He treated me with pain pills and muscle relaxers and cortisone injection. A week later ( with little improvement) he ordered physcial therapy. I am some better but still have numbness and some pain in arm and left shoulder blade. I have had very little restorative sleep the last 2 weeks! My question is: Do you think the massage caused my problem? Should a person with osteoporosis avoid massages always? I have had 2-3 Swedish massages a year for 20 years with no ill effect. I do know the masuerer pressed up and down my spine with his thumb and let his thumb "slip" one time off to the left of my spine. Could he have damaged a vertebrae? Pinched or imflamed a nerve? Could a long airplane flight or alot of riding in a car "stoved me up". I would appreciate any insights others might have in my situation. Thanks, Becky3

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Becky3,

It’s hard to say exactly what happened. Given that your symptoms began after the massage, there might be a connection. Perhaps the person was not as qualified as the other masseuses who worked on you in the past or he/she might have been tired, as usually the point of chair massages at an event is to raise money and volume is the goal. It could have just been bad luck.

I wouldn’t avoid massages, especially since you have had good results in the past, but you might want to stick with a more professional practitioner and environment. That being said, I have had minor injuries even from very experienced practitioners. The body is a delicate instrument is some ways and can be thrown off easily at times. But just because one session does not work out quite the way we would have liked does not mean that the next one won’t be the best ever.

You might want to think about consulting a chiropractor. It’s possible a vertebra, your shoulder blade, a rib or two, etc., is out of place and causing your problems. If this is the case, medication and physical therapy, although they could be helpful, ultimately will not be able to correct the situation. However, you might want to continue the medication and therapy for the benefits they can provide and to be sure all your bases are covered. If any bones are out of place, the therapy should strengthen the muscles and help keep them in place in the future.

Good luck! Hopefully you will find some relief soon.

Uma

P.S. You might want to avoid sleeping on your left side and carrying heavy things with that arm until you are better. Also long car and plane rides definitely can affect something like this, especially if one does not sit in the best posture (who does?) or move around frequently.

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re. the advise to see a Chiropractor - my experience is that if they do not work from Xrays more harm than good may result . . .

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