URINARY SYSTEM Inflammation of the kidney

Most pathological conditions relating to kidney malfunction involve some degree of infection and inflammation. Two representative cases are repeated cystitis and pyelitis (inflammation of the pelvis of the kidneys). The kidney area itself is generally very tender to palpation and, consequently, local massage is contraindicated. Malfunction of the kidneys can cause widespread pain to the loin area, which includes the regions of the lower back, both sides of the lower trunk plus the lateral borders of the buttocks and upper thighs. Pain in these regions is not always distinguishable from that related to disorders of the spine. Furthermore, soreness on the left or right side of the upper lumbar spine is easily misinterpreted as muscle tightness instead of a kidney problem. Oedema (local, systemic or in the lower limbs) is another sign of kidney malfunction.

Massage application

•  Systemic and abdominal massage movements are applied to improve the circulation to the kidney. Venous drainage of the organ is a further benefit of the massage and is equally vital to kidney function. Lymphatic massage is employed to drain the oedema, particularly in the lower limbs, that is associated with kidney disorders. It is important to bear in mind that, while massage is effective in supporting kidney function and promoting the healing process, it does not treat pathological conditions, some of which can have very serious complications.

•  Abdominal and systemic massage can increase kidney output and micturition; this diuretic effect can also lower the blood pressure. However, due to the connection between kidney problems and high blood pressure, it is advisable to only treat with the doctor's approval. Any abdominal massage should be of short duration and applied mostly for portal circulation.

•  Kidney disease can lead to the following tissue changes, mostly on the side of the affected kidney, and massage is used to treat these areas to effect a reflex response in the kidney:

A.  Increased tension in the pelvic and sacral areas, which may also radiate downwards to the iliotibial tract and upwards to the fascia of the latissimus dorsi along the spinal segment of T9 and T10. The tissue tension and tenderness can extend further, to the anterior region and the groin.

B.  Tightness in the lower rib cage area, along the dermatome of T10.

C.  A small area of hypersensitivity can be found at a point between the scapula and the vertebral column, at the level of T4.

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  • Category: Musculoskeletal system