The field of massage therapy is so vast…encompassing so many types of modalities and a wide range of knowledge. Depending on where the therapists receives their training, even the educational requirements are different not only between Canadian provinces but between countries. One type of massage we will talk about is Orthopaedic massage.
Orthopaedic massage therapy is an important condition area involving rehabilitation of soft tissue pain and injuries.
What is Orthopaedic Massage?
Orthopaedics refers to the musculoskeletal system. In massage therapy school we used a wonderful text book written by Whitney Lowe (a massage therapist, educator, researcher and writer) and she defines Orthopaedic massage as a treatment that “aims to treat problematic conditions resulting from work, sports, or accidents. It is a more therapeutic application to treating complex musculoskeletal dysfunctions. A great candidate for orthopedic massage would be someone with chronic low back pain, for example. In this case, I would automatically need to assess their hip joints before treating their muscles, since releasing the muscles that may be “tight” (because they are creating a natural splint) would actually propagate their pain.”
Now that we have defined Orthopaedic Massage, you might wonder how its different from a regular massage that also treats the musculoskeletal system.
Although all massage is therapeutic, Orthopaedic Massage is based on the principle of massaging with respect to the musculature’s anatomy. Every session is an integrated approach of the most effective techniques developed for tissue dysfunction. It is best suited for clients with significant orthopaedic conditions such as injury or deeply held chronic tension patterns.
Orthopaedic Massage takes more of a multidisciplinary approach that looks to resolve the origin of the pain and dysfunction either from trauma-induced injuries or postural imbalances that exacerbate the pain through daily activities. Common orthopedic conditions can stem from sports injuries, postural imbalances due to poor work ergonomics, chronic pain and scar tissue from surgery or traumatic injury.
At Custom Bodies Fitness and Massage, we apply the principals of orthopedic massage by:
- Conducting a thorough assessment of their patient
- Evaluating contributing factors and the onset of the problem
- Creating a plan that systematically responds to the patient’s progress
- Adjusting that plan as needed
Within that framework, several different massage techniques can be incorporated, including:
- Myofascial release
- Neuromuscular therapy
- Thermal modalities
- Trigger point release
- Kinetic massage
- Soft Tissue Release
Using a variety of approaches, orthopedic massage performed by the certified massage therapist and can help reduce pain and help patients suffering from several types of soft-tissue problems.
Which Patients Benefit Most from Orthopaedic Massage?
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
A Typical Orthopedic Massage Session with a Professional with Therapeutic Massage Certification
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. Treatment plans are reviewed and may be adapted as the treatment progresses.
Massage therapists also provide homecare exercises or stretches for the patient between sessions as part of the overall treatment plan.
Book your orthopaedic massage today!