Do You have the Nerve to Get Massage? Part 2 Nerve Compression

As discussed in our last post the human body has over 90 billion nerve cells making up over 200 nerves within the body. Other than over all benefits massage has to our nervous system there are more direct benefits to each nerve.

The nerves in our body create movement and allow us to have sensation.  A string of neurons(nerve cells) create a chain of synapses which are our nerve. Sending and receiving messages from all over the body. In order to preform at their best they need a clear and clean pathway; otherwise, signals can be lost or the nerves can be over stimulated and fire sending pain signals in the body, you can also feel numbness or constant "pins and needle" sensation. This is cause by some sort of compression on the nerve.

Compressed nerves can be due to a few reasons and can be compressed in more than one location(known as multiple crush syndrome). The two common causes for nerve compression are structural or soft tissue. It is limited what massage can do for the later ( will explain after) but for the former massage is sometimes the best course of treatment.

When soft tissue is compressing on a nerve, it is usually a muscle that is so tight it pinches the nerve, or there is excessive adhesion or scar tissue by a nerve. In both cases massage can help. When your muscles ate to tight; for example with thoracic outlet syndrome, when the nerves that run under the scalenes (in your neck) and pectoral muscles get pinched by you tight chest and neck muscles, causing pain and numbness down the arm and in the fingers, deep massage therapy can release the muscle and assist it to relax and lengthen; reducing the pressure on the nerves. This allows the nerve to have a clear path for it's signal as well as get the proper vascular circulation to keep the nerve healthy.  Massage therapy is also able to aid in the break up of scar tissue to alive that pressure on the nerves as well.

And with the later, structural impingement, commonly caused by spinal disk issue or poor structural alignment, by releasing uneven tight muscles in the body with massage you maybe brought back to a more ideal alignment reducing the structural tension on the nerves.