Medical massage is a therapeutic treatment modality provided by a certified medical massage therapist (CMMT). It consists of specific treatments designed to treat injuries or conditions, ranging from localized muscles pain to chronic illnesses and post-surgical recovery.
Some of the most common injuries or conditions that can be treated with medical massage include:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis
- Posture problems
In addition to targeting specific areas of the body that are in need of repair or relief from tension or nervous system dysfunctions caused by trauma acquired during athletic activities such as golfing and running, it can also be used for relaxation purposes and for stress management by providing deep tissue massage techniques.
At Empathea located in Venice Florida Our CMMTs use different combinations of modalities including Swedish massage techniques and trigger point therapy to treat any type of injury or condition. Medical massage sessions are tailored to individual clients needs based on the evaluation performed during the initial session and follow up treatments if necessary.
What is Medical Massage?
Medical massage is an approach to massage therapy focused on treating a specific medical condition or pathology. Medical massage often combines several modalities, resulting in a treatment plan tailored to the individual’s needs that seeks to restore balance and health.
Medical massage therapy is often employed in combination with other rehabilitative therapies, such as physical therapy, chiropractic care and naturopathic medicine, when needed. Common conditions that may be treated by medical massage therapy include musculoskeletal injuries, postural imbalances, tendonitis, lymphedema and sports injuries. Other conditions that can benefit from medical massage include carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica and plantar fasciitis.
The goal of medical massage is typically to achieve a successful outcome with fewer sessions than traditional therapeutic massages by assessing existing pathologies carefully and focusing on reducing underlying causes rather than masking symptoms. Medical massage therapists accomplish this with comprehensive assessments that are used to create customized treatment plans based on individual needs using targeted manual techniques like soft tissue release, trigger point therapy (TRT) and active isolated stretching (AIS).
Benefits of Medical Massage
Medical Massage may be suggested by your physician or physical therapist as a treatment plan for your injury. It is considered a form of physical therapy and consists of therapeutic treatments to help with pain relief, facilitate healing, increase range of motion and improve the tone of muscles that have been affected by the injury. In addition to treating injuries, Medical Massage can also treat several common conditions such as chronic neck pain, shoulder and back injuries, chronic headaches and TMJ disorders.
Medical Massage protocols involve strokes that are designed to help reduce inflammation and promote healing through increased blood circulation during a massage session. Special techniques may be utilized to address specific areas of the body which need concentrated work. These techniques include myofascial release, trigger point therapy or Swedish massage strokes for relaxation in certain areas that need relaxation or relief from tension.
The benefits of Medical Massage include:
- Easing of muscle spasms.
- Improved mobility and tissue elasticity.
- Strengthening weakened areas that have been affected due to the injury.
- Reduced inflammation which helps with pain relief in targeted areas like the wrists or elbows.
- Increased endorphin´s after a massage can help with depression symptoms such as fatigue or sleeplessness caused by discomfort due to an injury.
- Studies also show positive effects on anxiety symptoms after attending Medical Massage sessions on a regular basis.
- Additionally, it can promote good sleeping habits that are necessary while healing from an injury or condition where pain has been present for some time before treatment can begin.
Types of Injuries or Conditions That Can Be Treated with Medical Massage
Medical massage is an effective therapy for a wide range of injuries and conditions. This type of massage is different from spa massage in that it is tailored to the individual’s needs, with treatment being tailored to the specific injury or condition. The goal of medical massage is to reduce pain, increase mobility and restore balance to the body.
In this blog, we will discuss the types of injuries and conditions that can be treated with medical massage:
Musculoskeletal injuries affect muscles, joints, and bones, including soft tissues like tendons and ligaments. These can be caused by overuse due to prolonged or repetitive physical activity or acute injury resulting from contact sports or sudden trauma.
Common musculoskeletal conditions that can benefit from medical massage include:
- Strains and sprains
- Post-surgical tightness or scar tissue
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Back and neck pain
- Knee pain or joint pain
- Chronic joint stiffness
Medical massage can aid in the recovery process following an injury by reducing discomfort throughout the affected area, increasing movement and flexibility, improving posture and balance, facilitating relaxation and reducing stress that can interfere with healing. For those suffering from chronic musculoskeletal issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome or chronic back pain, regular massage therapy sessions may be recommended over a period of time to provide relief.
Chronic Pain Conditions
Chronic pain from conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraines, and other similar conditions can be relieved with the use of medical massage.
- Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder that can cause widespread stiffness, muscle spasms and severe headaches. Research has suggested that medical massage may be beneficial in reducing some of the symptoms associated with this condition.
- Arthritis is an inflammatory condition that can also cause chronic pain and inflammation in the joints. Medical massage therapy may reduce some of the muscle stiffness, which can often contribute to joint pain and reduced mobility.
- Migraines are another condition that may benefit from medical massage therapy; research has shown that different types of massage may help to reduce cortisol levels (a hormone related to stress) while increasing serotonin levels (a neurotransmitter related to relaxation).
Other chronic pain conditions – such as neck/back pain and various forms of muscular dystrophy – could also potentially be treated with medical massage. Neck/back pain due to poor posture or musculoskeletal issues could benefit from targeted soft tissue work as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Finally, certain forms of muscular dystrophy affect your muscles’ ability to relax after contraction; by providing targeted stretching therapy alongside manual therapeutic techniques like myofascial release for example, we may be able to improve nerve function and provide relief from muscle contractures over time.
Medical massage is a form of treatment for soft tissue injuries or conditions, which can often provide superlative results compared to other therapeutic options such as rest and drugs. The main reason for this is that a skilled therapist can tailor the massage protocol according to the injuries or condition of the patient.
Below is an overview of some common injuries or conditions that can and are being successfully treated with medical massage therapy:
- Post-Surgical Conditions: Post-surgical conditions can be potentially sped up in their recovery process through guided manipulation of scar tissue buildup. Medical massage sessions greatly reduce scar tissue buildup, relaxes muscle tension and supports joint mobilization – ultimately releasing endorphins, which aid in alleviating pain and inflammation. Furthermore, edema reduction through medical massage creates space within soft tissues allowing more optimal lymphatic drainage helping decrease fluid build ups after surgery.
Stress can take a toll on our bodies, leading to both physical and emotional issues. Medical massage therapy is an effective treatment for conditions caused by stress. Stress-related illnesses often affect the circulatory, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems.
A massage therapist trained in medical massage techniques can target trigger points, releasing tight muscles groups and relieving pain caused by chronic tension.
For people suffering from headaches or migraines, medical massage therapy has been found to be an effective treatment option. By releasing tight muscles through massage therapy, these conditions can be alleviated with regular treatment sessions as part of a comprehensive healthcare plan. These same techniques have also been effective against insomnia due to the relaxation benefits of massage and its ability to alleviate tension in the neck and shoulder muscles associated with sleeplessness.
Gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may also benefit from regular medical massage therapy treatments that target trigger points at the base of the skull or areas along the spine located near affected organs of digestion. The therapist performing the session will customize techniques accordingly to address whatever issue you are dealing with related to stress or other health factors.
In conclusion, medical massage is a safe and effective holistic approach to managing a range of injuries and conditions. Through intense, skillful manipulation of the soft-tissue, medical massage can address the pain, inflammation and muscle spasms associated with specific conditions. Medical massage can also reduce stress hormones that contribute to chronic pain by releasing contracting muscles.
While some individuals may benefit from traditional Western medicine for certain issues, medical massage may provide relief from acute and chronic pain symptoms as well as stress-related disorders in a way that is gentle on the body without the use of prescription drugs or surgery. Because medical massage is tailored to each individual’s needs by certified practitioners who have an in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology, it is important to speak with your doctor before receiving any form of treatment.