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Can massage heal injuries?

Massage won’t magically and instantly heal your injuries but it’s a highly recommended part of most recovery plans. It can help to speed up the healing process, prevent re-injury, alleviate pain, and it will make you feel better even if you have been experiencing ongoing pain from an old injury. It’s never too late for a fresh start!

Massage therapy sessions are an ideal treatment for any injury that involves the soft tissues of muscles and tendons, but it’s also helpful in stretching the muscles and releasing tightness which can cause pain in distant areas as well as the site of the original injury. The benefits you receive will depend on how long you have been experiencing discomfort, and how serious your injury is. Keep in mind that unlike a regular massage visit, a massage therapy session which is targeted at healing an injury will be deeper and concentrated on certain areas and it will probably require more than just one treatment.

In which cases should you use massage to heal injuries?

From a sprained ankle to a broken bone – massage provides the chance for a faster recovery! The pressure of therapist’s hands improve the blood flow, muscles become warmer and by stretching tight tissues and breaking down adhesions, the swelling in joints is flushed out and you can body can heal faster.

These are the most common reasons people visit a massage therapist:

  • Sports injury
  • Broken bones and burns
  • Muscle-related neck pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Muscle-related knee pain
  • Rotator cuff tear

If you’re an athlete

Being an athlete you probably have an experience with injuries and all the ways you can help your body to heal faster. And you probably know all about the general benefits of a massage. But did you know that regular therapy sessions can improve your overall performance?
Researchers have found what exactly happens to muscles when a therapist works on them.

The experiment required having people exercise to exhaustion and undergo five incisions in their legs. During the first visit, researchers have biopsied one leg of each subject. At a second session, they made the participants exercise on a stationary bike for more than an hour. They massaged one tight of each subject for 10 minutes leaving the other tight to recover on its own. Then, they biopsied the tight muscle in each leg again. After two and a half hours they did a third biopsy to track the process of muscle injury and recovery.

They found out that massage reduced the production of compounds called cytokines which play a critical role in inflammation. Massage also stimulated mitochondria that convert glucose into the energy necessary for cell repair. The better your range of motion and the more flexible your muscles are, the more power and performance you’ll have – this will help you to work out more efficiently and to keep the intensity at a safe level.

There’s also the importance of injury prevention. When a massage therapist stretches the connective tissue, it helps improve the circulation which it can influence how much of certain chemicals are excreted.

If you have a broken bone or a burn

After you visited a doctor and started your treatment, you’ll want to eliminate stiffness and improve your mobility. Massage therapy can help reduce stiffness, restore movement, and provide deep relaxation. There’s nothing strange about that, right? But what about the impact that massage therapy has on a burn victim?

After three months of massage therapy, burn patients studied in the Korean Journal of Hepatology reported skin healing, eased itching, and they also pointed out that they are feeling less depressed.

If you have a muscle related pain

A massage therapist can use a range of techniques to address the specific muscle groups that are affected. If you are experiencing pain in the neck muscles, try deep tissue massage.

But if you have a knee-related injury, the best option would be to contact a physiotherapist or an osteopath first to make sure it’s not an ACL injury. If this is not the caset, your massage therapist will choose the right type of massage which will assess the affected muscle and joint areas, and then he or she will deliver appropriate massage therapy.

If you have soft tissue injury or a rotator cuff tear

When it comes to soft tissue injuries, it’s suggested to seek medical attention immediately. Those injuries include muscle sprains, injuries of myofascial tissue, and tendon injuries. In some of those cases, a massage therapist will advise you to avoid using massage therapy on the damaged area for a few days but feel free to enjoy an indirect massage to surrounding areas – it will be beneficial.

The rotator cuff is a common shoulder injury that occurs when you strain or pinch the tendons and damage the soft tissue. Remedial massage will lead you to a faster recovery by improving circulation and breaking down scar tissue, but it can also assist your muscles to heal to their full length. That way you won’t end up with shortened muscle fibers.

Bottom line

Massage can’t heal injuries after just one treatment, but it can be beneficial in relieving the pain, speeding up the healing process, and in preventing future injuries from happening.

Book in for your first treatment here.

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