Herniated discs can be terribly painful and cause neurological symptoms such as numbness and tingling. Many of us walk around with herniated discs without any discomfort, but some of us are unlucky and wake up one day, or make one seemingly completely normal move, and BAM! we're in pain.
Conservative doctors will recommend a variety of techniques before suggesting surgery. They may recommend PT, stretching and the more adventurous among them might even suggest acupuncture or chiropractic care. Sadly, few doctors recommend therapeutic massage and that's truly unfortunate because it's frequently tight muscles that have pulled the vertebrae they're attached to and even discs out of their normal place. Did you know, for example, that the psoas muscle actually originates at your lumbar vertebrae and discs? Guess what happens when it gets too tight! You got it! The psoas pull can be so strong that it yanks vertebrae and discs out of place and puts pressure on the nerves triggering extraordinary pain, numbness and tingling. As a massage therapist, I work on the muscles and the fascia that surrounds them to help bring relief to your situation and help you avoid what can be in some cases utterly unnecessary surgery.
My heart truly goes out to you if you're suffering pain from a herniated disc. I've had both cervical disc issues resulting in extremely limited neck range of motion and extraordinary pain shooting down both arms coming from roughhousing with my son as well as lumbar issues including L3/L4 nerve root compression and L5 nerve root compression. It's no fun and I want to help you get out of this discomfort without surgery and learn how to avoid it in the future (I don't have these problems anymore and know how to keep my body from being so susceptible to them).
Most of my clients with these problems begin to notice some pain relief and improved range of motion after just one session. In my experience, if the client is young or the pain has just started, massage alone might be adequate for temporary relief but they do better long term if they also work with a chiropractor. If the pain has been going on for months, I recommend clients see a chiropractor and acupuncturist. I'm happy to partner with your other health care providers to share my findings with them so that they can continue to work on those same issues with their healing techniques.