Book health & wellness appointments instantly

Structural integration (including Rolfing)

Structural integration aligns, balances and lengthens the body by pressing into the connective tissues of the body and maneuvering them back into place.

Could Rolfing be a good alternative to back surgery involving L-3-4?

Luis Rivera (Marietta, IL) on Oct 27, 2012
Finding a therapist who can help you with the tension patterns and reduction of scar tissue in the area can be of great benefit. The surgery has limited the range of motion in the area. A combination therapy such as Rolfing, Acupuncture, and Chiropractic could help you greatly. If I can help you in any way. Let me know. Thank you.
Minki Kim (Astoria, NY) on Oct 15, 2012
Hi there, Thanks for the great question! I believe the Rolf Method of Structural Integration can be a suitable alternative to surgery depending on how far along your disc has moved in the L3-4 vertebrae. If this disc is too far gone or too far beyond repair, then manual intervention will not be effective for you. On the other hand, if the intervertebral disc is still present, this bodywork would offer an effective preventative solution by realigning your entire spinal column thereby rehydrating and restoring the function and health of this particular disc tissue. I'd have to strictly follow your surgeon's suggestions on receiving bodywork to address this issue. I hope this offers some insight. For more info on the bodywork itself, please feel free to visit my Zeel profile and click through to my website. Thanks!
Anne Sotelo (Los Angeles, CA) on Oct 13, 2012
Yes, Freeing up restrictions in the musculoskeletal structure could make movement easier. Some Rolfers have additional training and can do work on the abdomen, chest, nerves and craniosacral system that can be effective in improving not only your structure but your energy.
Gina Kilgus (Austin, TX) on Sep 29, 2012
Hi, thank you for your question. I would just like to say that once that fusion is done on the two vertebrae, they will never have their same mobility again and this could cause even more problems down the road because something has got to give! Having faulty balance since the hip replacement is common and I can see why this could cause you such exhaustion. Imbalances in the myofascial system can cause efficiency loss of muscles. Rolfing® Structural Integration can help you regain your balance and provide you with more energy by reducing the strain and fixations throughout your body that are limiting specific movements. I also have the lingering curiosity as to what structural imbalances were inhibiting the leg and/or hip that caused the need for the hip replacement in the first place? Are they still present and yet again/still contributing to the L3-4 disc problem? Rolfing therapy would address this as well. As for the disc, Rolfers™ can work with the ligaments that hold the spinal vertebrae in place. The fascial alignment of ones above and below L3-4 would be taken into consideration and this is where physics comes into the aspect of our work. A Rolfer should be able to determine how to lessen the strain on the various tissues and structures that are causing that disc to be pushed so close to the vertebrae. Balancing the spine with holistic focus and finding a Rolfing practitioner who works with you on movement, body usage and postural mechanics could correct further deterioration of the disc and help preserve the totality and alignment of the joint itself. In my opinion, having anything removed from the body that is organic, should be a last resort and I would get many different professionals’ perspectives first-like what you are doing. You should go with the perspective that makes the most sense to you, but here is how you can find a Rolfer in your area: Hope this helps you!
Sally Cina (Saint Louis, MO) on Sep 29, 2012
Rolfing / Structural Integration, in conjunction with a shifting perspective, attitude, and approach to your relationship with your body, as well as exercise like T'ai Chi with attention diet could very likely be good choices for you - amongst the world of choices that you have including back surgery. Structural Integration is not a adequate substitute for the care of a quality physician, of course. However, a Rolfer or qualified Structural Integration practitioner can help you shift your relationship with the functional sectors of your body - including the back. The 10 Series builds better relationship throughout the body. It is probable that finding better support in your feet - underneath your back will help ease the strain on your spine. Perhaps balancing your pelvis or easing your hamstrings will be just the thing to help you feel better. Getting all of you working together in an integrated, structurally sound manner is the intention of Structural Integration. We align the structure of the human body in the gravitational field. SI practitioners work with their clients on things like breath. Imagine breath moving freely in all dimensions into your upper back, into your sides, into your thoracic outlet, into your diaphragm and everywhere your breath can go. Improving your breath function is a definite improvement in one's quality of life. Beyond that a practitioner can help you find ways to be more comfortable in chairs, explore different ways of walking & work with you toward functional goals that you want personally to improve your quality of life. Thank you for your question. May your garden be full of blooms and may you be healthy and well.
Magali Boehlen (New York, NY) on Sep 28, 2012
After carefully discussing your options with your doctor and reviewing the MRI, absolutely that Rolfing can realign the soft tissue of the torso, trunk and/or spinal area. Not only does Rolfing address these tissues but specifically treats and realigns the connective tissue distortions created within the body over time, bad posture/usage and injury/accidents to the area.
Daniel Burnes (, ) on Sep 28, 2012
I wish I could promise positive results. However fatigue is not a condition the Rolfing would have direct impact upon. If you are not in pain, what are you attempting to accomplish? If fatigue is your problem you should consider supplements and perhaps accupuncture. Get your testosterone level checked. Vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, etc. are probably low. In regards to the disc movement; Rolfing could allow the tissues to open and thus the vertebra would move and the disc could relocate to proper spacing. Once again, no ethical practitioner can make a garantee as to results. I can say that the cost of a 10 series is approximately $,1200. And it is not invasive. If I was you I would probably find an experienced Rolfer in my area who came recommended. Google reviews of local Rolfers. Call some of them. Find out where they went to school. How long have they been practicing, get references from them of clients you can call. Go with your instincts. Good luck
Andrei Kazlouski (Whitehall, PA) on Sep 28, 2012
Rolfing (Structural Integration) have a potential to balance the tissue around the area releasing the tension and bringing better order throughout the body. However, even with successful application, if the damage is too great, the area will still stay vulnerable. It really depends on how much balance can be restored and whether it is enough to change the pattern so the stress is minimized. It is worth trying. Thanks, Andrei Kazlouski
Peggy Richards (Scottsdale, AZ) on Sep 28, 2012
I am an Advanced Rolf Structural Integration practitioner and my name is Peggy Richards. My mother experienced a hip replacement two years ago and since that time she has had me work on her giving her both Rolfing and Massage. My sense is, that based on what you have shared with me about your history and current condition, Rolfing would help your body lengthen and take some pressure off L-3-4. Rolfing is a process that involves addressing not just one body part or area, but the whole body. If there is more than one thing creating strain in your lumbars, that would be addressed. Rolfing is meant to be given as a series of 10 sessions. Each session builds upon the previous one. So, it is a process that a person undertakes and it is recommended that you sign up for the whole series if you are committed to realizing change. I also support my clients by teaching them passive stretching exercises that help then to consciously embody more length and develop a stronger sense of how they are relating to, and using, gravity as a means of support rather than resisting or fighting it. And moving into building the strength creates more stabilization from your feet up. One session would give you a taste for the work and then you could decide if you wanted to move forward into committing to doing the series. In my opinion, surgery is not your only option. And by the same token, I do not consider surgery as necessarily being a negative thing. But you never know, it might be worth your time and the investment to see if your structure can change enough to eliminate the need.