Orthopedic Massage –
Orthopedic Massage describes a comprehensive system, rather than a single technique, that involves therapeutic assessment, manipulation and movement of soft tissues to resolve pain and dysfunction. … A therapist who performs orthopedic massage focuses on problems with the client’s musculoskeletal system.
Orthopedics specializes in diseases and injuries affecting the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic massage is a complementary treatment that focuses on improving musculoskeletal conditions, including increasing range of motion and decreasing pain.
Within that framework, several different massage techniques can be incorporated, including:
- Myofascial release
- Neuromuscular therapy
- Thermal modalities
- Trigger point release
- Muscle energy technique
Using a variety of approaches, orthopedic massage can help reduce pain and help patients suffering from several types of soft-tissue problems.
When used as a complementary treatment, orthopedic massage can be beneficial to patients suffering from a wide variety of soft-tissue musculoskeletal problems, whether they are acute or chronic. It is most commonly recommended to patients suffering from injuries and conditions such as:
- Plantar fasciitis (pain from weakened fascia in the foot)
- Knee pain
- Carpal tunnel
- Whiplash injuries
- Tennis elbow and golfers elbow
- Frozen shoulder
- Back spasms and pain
- IT Band Syndrome
- Post Exercise Soreness
- Neck Pain
- Tight Muscles
- Muscle Pulls and Tears
- Ankle Sprains
- Recovery From a Competition or Event
- Scar Tissue
- Tension and Migraine Headaches
Orthopedic massage sessions usually last between 60 and 90 minutes, including an assessment of the patient’s history, their range of motion, and the soft-tissue problem that they are experiencing. Based on the assessment, the massage therapist develops a treatment plan suited to the patient’s condition.
How does an orthopedic condition develop?
The response to this question is “over time” but, really, it is the compound effect of daily activities repeated over and over that result in these conditions. They can, also, develop as a byproduct of an acute, traumatic change in movement mechanics (e.g. adjusting one’s gait to avoid pressure on a sensitive area on the foot). Whether as a repetitive stress injury or as a compensatory pattern, any number of events could contribute to what is now an uncomfortable-to-very-painful dysfunction of the body. This is where understanding the history of your movement mechanics is critical. Did your carpal tunnel syndrome develop from years of typing on a computer or did the symptoms start after that weight-lifting competition you’ve been training for since January.
Massage therapy, in the most general sense, is the therapeutic manipulation of soft tissue in the body with intent to promote a healing environment. An Orthopedic Massage Therapist is specially trained and certified in the treatment of orthopedic conditions. Therefore, Orthopedic Massage is the manipulation of the soft tissue in the body as they pertain to orthopedic conditions with the disciplined intent to promote a healing environment. It is target-specific, purposeful bodywork that aims to eliminate the symptoms of pain and dysfunction by focusing on the source of it all.
A typical session of orthopedic massage involves an initial intake of your medical background, daily activities and areas of concern. Gait and postural analysis may be used, along with some muscle testing and movement screening. The time spent on the treatment table is unlike what you would expect from your run-of-the-mill spa or wellness center. This is not a “fluff-and-buff, gift-certificate birthday massage”. It is effective, medically supported manual therapy for hurting bodies. Undivided attention is given to the chief areas of complaint for the maximum benefit of the client. With the right approach, touch and sound reason for treatment, a client once hindered and disabled by sciatic pain (for example) can walk out of a therapists’ office, pain-free and unrestricted.
If you suffer from a longstanding pain with little-to-no improvement over time and under treatment, you may benefit greatly from the knowledgeable and skilled hands of a manual therapist.
*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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