Your Guide To Doctors, Health Information, and Better Health!
Your Health Magazine Logo
The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Holly Dunbar, CMT, RH (AGH)
Massage Therapy's Role In Injury Recovery
New Moon Body Work and Botanicals
. http://www.newmoonbody.com

Massage Therapy's Role In Injury Recovery

Massage therapy can play an important and perhaps overlooked role in the treatment of acute injuries. Manual therapies, client education, attention to body awareness, and stress management are all advantageous to the healing process. Recognition of the signs and symptoms of tissue repair are crucial to proper treatment of acute injuries.

The healing process is defined by three phases the inflammatory response, repair phase, and remodeling phase. The inflammatory response begins immediately after trauma occurs and is characterized by swelling, heat, loss of function, redness, and pain. The increased blood flow to the injured area delivers important healing components such as white blood cells, and alerts the body to the need for inhibited function. Sleep may be difficult in this stage, and the body may experience pain in other regions from compensation and gait changes. The inflammation is an important and necessary component of healing, but to minimize pain, cold applications may be used. Light myofascial release and Swedish massage to associated structures are useful massage techniques in this phase.

During the repair phase, the signs and symptoms of inflammation subside and the replacement and repair of injured tissue begins. Pain may become less diffuse and broad, and more specific to the injured sight. New blood vessels grow in the injured sight to assist removal of metabolic waste and cells called fibroblasts generate collagen fibers. A process called granulation begins, which is the production of a fragile scar tissue. As the pain and inflammation subside to a more localized area, clients are often tempted to return to full range of motion and normal activity, and re-injury can occur. Myofascial release, Swedish massage, and deep tissue to other areas can be very helpful in this phase, enhancing the healing process and decreasing stress. Stress management is very important in healing, as the body will consume resources to manage the effects of stress.

In the remodeling phase, the body lays down collagen fibers. This complex tissue pattern will stabllize the area, but could also lead to decreased mobility. Cross fiber friction is very useful in this healing phase to encourage the most uniform collagen formation. Deep tissue and Swedish massage deliver blood and oxygen to the muscles, which helps range of motion and decreases pain.

MD (301) 805-6805 | VA (703) 288-3130