Medical Massage is the use of massage therapy to address injuries, pain, or disease. It uses specific techniques to treat specific problems and is distinguished from massage used primarily for relaxation.
Unlike pharmaceuticals so often used to treat pain, touch has no side effects, and medical-massage is one of the most underutilized and effective methods of pain management. The therapist will conduct specific measurements and tests to determine the cause of the injury, and base treatment on these findings. Medical massage may incorporate techniques from neuromuscular therapy, myofascial release, deep tissue, and Swedish massage. Medical massage relieves pain and restores freedom of movement. Results achieved can be measured clinically through patient feedback and muscle testing.
Medical massage is applied to and around the injured area within the client’s pain tolerance. Due to posture and movement patterns, muscles remote from the injury site will sometimes cause or exacerbate an injury. For example, lower back pain is often the result of a head-forward posture. In these cases, the massage therapist will work on all areas causal to the injury, in order to achieve the most effective results.
Medical massage is highly effective in treating many painful conditions, such as:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Tennis elbow
- Piriformis syndrome
- Rotator cuff strain
- Frozen shoulder
- Range of motion restriction
- Plantar fasciitis
- Bulging discs (for pain management only)
For more information, see Why Massage Works.