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Why Supplement Physical Therapy With Massage?

09 Jul 2014

Health care needs encompass a wide range of conditions.  There are modalities that encourage wellness, those that relief symptoms or provide palliative care, as well as treatments and therapies which aid in healing  from an injury.  Sometimes, the process of recovering from an injury can be frustrating and tiring. Even relatively minor injuries, like a twisted knee or sprained ankle, can take a long time to heal. They may need physical therapy to regain lost strength and flexibility. There are strong indications that adding massage to physical therapy can be extremely beneficial. 

Massage Can Speed Recovery Time with Physical Therapy

When massage is used in conjunction with physical therapy, recovery time is cut down, for the following reasons:

  • Massage increases circulation to the injured area.
  • It relaxes tense muscles which enhances flexibility and ability to exercise the area.
  • Massage therapy encourages higher oxygen levels in both muscles and internal organs, which improves overall health

Benefits of Massage Plus Physical Therapy – Specific Injury Types

When used in conjunction with physical therapy, massage has special benefits to specific types of injuries:

  • Sports Injuries:  Because injuries inflicted during exercise or sports often happen to soft tissue, the act of properly massaging the area gently warms injured muscle and tissue. In addition to loosening the area mechanically, the action of massage encourages healthy blood flow by breaking down blockages and gently stretching the tissue. This speeds healing, but it also provides relief from swollen joints and generalized inflammation.   The hamstrings in particular benefit from the stretching done during massage, while back or neck spasms and nerve pain are relieved through the gentle joint movement in Swedish Massage. Muscles heal more quickly with the help of deep tissue massage, because it breaks up deposits of lactic acid and other forms of metabolic waste, allowing for greater circulation of nutrient and oxygen rich blood.
  • Broken Bones:  Fully trained massage therapists can also help speed the recovery process for broken bones as well. Sports massage in particular is a wonderful aid in regaining flexibility and strength after the long period of inactivity while the bone healed. By flushing out the toxins which had built up during that time, the massage therapist facilitates greater circulation and better ability to rebuild muscle while reducing pain levels.
  • Burns: Burn patients can also benefit from massage therapy being added to their recovery regimen. A study in Korea had demonstrated that those who received three months of massage sessions during their healing process suffered lower levels of depression and enjoyed a quicker healing time than those who did not receive therapy.

As a part of our MN massage and shiatsu therapy training, our students learn how to help their clients recover from injury safely and effectively.  If you are a bodywork professional with a specific interest in developing skills and techniques to support injury recovery, you may be interested in our upcoming continuing education class on Kinesio Taping, coming this July.  Click here for more information; registration is due by July 11, 2014Don’t delay; this workshop fills up quickly whenever we offer it. 

Call us today at 952-562-5200!