Recovering from trauma and injury is a lengthy journey and the process of recovery will differ from case to case. For many, a combination of massage therapy and physiotherapy may prove to be beneficial in decreasing the recovery and rehabilitation time required to recover from an injury.
Physiotherapy and massage therapy both work to reduce pain and inflammation whilst improving mobility and muscle functionality. Massage therapy can be used in conjunction with physiotherapy to manage a variety of problems that arises from trauma, chronic pain and injury including stress.
As a combined treatment, physiotherapy and massage therapy serves as a holistic treatment delivering both long-term and short-term benefits.
What is physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy is one of the many allied health professions whose aim is to promote, maintain, or restore health through physical examination. The practice of physiotherapy, in short, restores and promotes muscle and joint health to improve mobility and reduce pain. Physiotherapy uses physical manipulation and actions to:
- Reduce and relieve pain
- Improve mobility and joint functions
- Restore and improve balance and coordination
- Prevent recurrence of injury and chronic pain
- Maintain and manage pain from illnesses such as diabetes, arthritis and heart conditions
- Restore bladder and pelvic health
- Manage and restore injury incurred from sporting activities
Massage therapy and physiotherapy
Massage therapy and physiotherapy are both similar in nature as they both use manual manipulation to treat inflammation and pain within the body. However, where massage therapy and physiotherapy differ is the area in which each treatment focuses on. Massage therapy targets the body’s soft tissues, tendons, muscles and fascia whereas physiotherapy encompasses the entire musculoskeletal system including joints.
Massage therapy is the preferred treatment that helps to treat and maintain injury and can also be used as a type of maintenance therapy alongside physiotherapy. Massage therapy however has a wider range of applications that extends beyond physiotherapy. Such as treatment of injuries that require no rehabilitation time.
Benefits of combining massage therapy and physiotherapy
Flexibility and Motion
Physiotherapy and massage therapy when used in combination can address problems concerning flexibility and mobility as well as range of motion.
Typically these movements become restrictive due to poor joint functions and injury. However, with proper attention, the combined treatment can be used to boost flexibility through stretching and relaxing the muscle fibres and promote recovery within problem areas.
Physiotherapy and massage therapy has proven to be beneficial towards restoring your body’s proper alignment. Poor body form or posture includes:
- Slouching or hunching
- Head tipped
- Pelvic tilt
Massage therapy and physiotherapy can be used to manipulate hyperactive or underworked muscles to realign your body.
Injuries do not necessarily need to be visual for scarring to occur. When your body is injured, scarring can form underneath the skin within and around joints, muscles and tissues causing pain, restrictive movement, tightness, itching or swelling as well as other related symptoms. The likelihood of the injury reoccurring is also increased.
The work of a massage therapist and physical therapist aims to target and break down these adhesions using tools and techniques that have been researched and practised to be proven effective.
Using both massage therapy and physiotherapy will improve circulation and blood flow throughout the body and more specific areas of injury or muscle tension. The better the circulation, the quicker your muscles will recover as oxygen and nutrient are delivered to areas that require the most attention.
Massages help to deliver blood through congested areas giving them oxygen-rich blood that is required to recover.
One of the key benefits of massage therapy is muscle relaxation. Muscle relaxation will improve both mental and physical health of those who continuously strain and work their muscles through daily exercise or injury.
Massage therapy can support physiotherapy by alleviating and relaxing overworked muscles.
While there are many benefits when used in combination with physiotherapy. As a treatment on its own, massage therapy can provide other benefits extending away from physiotherapy.
The benefits of a professional massage therapy treatment include:
- Reducing stress and increasing relaxation
- Reducing pain and muscle soreness and tension
- Improving circulation, energy and alertness
- Lowering heart rate and blood pressure
- Improving immune function
- Assist with anxiety
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Low back pain
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Nerve pain
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
- Upper back and neck pain
Massage therapy is also a good way to indulge and pamper yourself. It can also be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever.
Ready to experience the power of a professional massage therapy treatment?