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How Massage Therapy Improves Rehabilitation After An Injury

Written By Eastlake Chiropractic and Massage Center on January 1, 2018

Rehabilitation is an important part of post-injury recovery. Whether the injury required surgery or physical therapy for treatment, spending adequate time dedicated to rehabilitation can make the difference between partial and full recovery. 

The primary goal of rehabilitation is to restore strength and flexibility to the affected area, and it can be an exhausting and time consuming activity. Massage therapy can play a significant role in post injury rehab, and in many cases it can speed the return to a patient’s pre-injury physicality.

What Does Massage Therapy Do?

Massage therapy increases blood flow and circulation to affected muscles and joints. The applied pressure and stimulation help the body deliver more oxygen and nutrients into damaged tissues, which allows the injured area to heal faster and more completely. 

When muscles have been heavily exercised or injured they become tighter and can cause soreness, which in turn restricts the natural range of motion. When there is injury or trauma to a joint, swelling occurs as a natural form of protection to the affected area. This swelling can impede movement and range of motion and cause pain in the surrounding area of the body. Left untreated, the muscles can lose their flexibility and elasticity, further restricting joint mobility and causing chronic pain.

Massage therapy can help reduce swelling by stimulating the muscles to release toxins and fluid. Improved blood flow and circulation encourages flexibility in the muscle, which allows for greater joint mobility and function. This permits greater range of movement and improves overall circulation. 

Patients who are injured or suffering from pain can report symptoms of anxiety or depression. Massage therapy is also beneficial for injury rehabilitation because studies have shown that it can stimulate the production of serotonin and dopamine, two hormones associated with feelings of relaxation and well-being.

What Type of Massage Is Best For Rehabilitation?

Different types of massage techniques focus on specific needs.  Trigger point, for example, is designed to alleviate pain through the application of isolated pressure. Deep tissue, on the other hand, promotes the release of chronic tension and tightness from the muscles by working on release in the deepest layer of musculature. 

Regular massage therapy can help the body process waste products and promote improved cell nutrition, which contributes to general wellness. Massage therapy that is focused on rehabilitation after an injury offers the same benefits and can reduce the time it takes to recover. Your healthcare practitioner can help you determine which type of massage therapy would be appropriate for the specific needs of your wellness plan.

Posted In: Massage