Four reasons you need regular remedial massage

At elevate we are lucky to have a team of experienced massage therapists. We asked two of our senior therapists all about the benefits of remedial massage and this is the insightful information that they shared with us.

Remedial Massage is a form of soft tissue therapy, which assists in rehabilitation, pain and injury management.

What do we do?

In a quick nutshell-  during a remedial massage session your therapist will aim to:

  • Massage and mobilise soft tissues such as muscles, tendons and ligaments to assist healing.
  • Assess and treat specific injuries and other soft tissue dysfunction and provide advice.
  • Enhance performance and prevent injury, also providing advice on stretching exercises and relaxation techniques

A range of manual therapy techniques may be employed in treatment, such as deep connective tissue massage, Trigger Point Therapy, Muscle Energy Techniques, Direct and Indirect Myofascial Techniques, and Neuromuscular Facilitation. With the integration of these techniques, your therapist can help to treat a broad range musculoskeletal injuries, address postural and biomechanical patterns of strain, as well as improve recovery, flexibility and endurance, and enhance the performance of athletes.

Four benefits of regular remedial massage:
The incredible therapeutic benefits of remedial massage can be divided into the following four categories.

Injury prevention
Having regular Remedial or Sport massage can help with managing a recurrent injury or preventing an injury to occur. This is achieved by:

  • reducing cramps or spasms
  • relax injured and overused muscles
  • Prevents muscular restrictions or tension in joint range of motion.

As a Remedial massage therapist, if we find that you have an injury that is not adequate to treat we will refer you to whoever is suitable to give you the best outcome whether it be our Physiotherapists, Osteopath or Podiatrists.

Recovery
Remedial massage can enhance recovery from training or competing and is very useful for those who are performing at higher intensities. You don’t need to be an athlete to reap the benefits of a remedial massage, it can also be useful to assist recovery for those who are new to exercise of are initiating a new program or training style. Remedial massage can speed up the recovery process by:

  • Decreasing lactic acid build up, removing metabolic waste products from exercise and increasing nutrient rich blood to the muscles for repair.
  • Increasing range of motion and improves blood circulation
  • Restoring optimal muscle resting length by overcoming delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS).

Competition Preparation:
Remedial massage is highly beneficial when it is tailored around the patient’s specific competition and training program. Our patients who want a sports massage are usually coming in for a pre or post event massage. Whether they are training in the lead up for an upcoming 1/2 or full marathon, to someone who completed one off events like Tough Mudder or City to Surf. This style of massage is usually fast and free flowing with circulatory intent, getting the muscles ready in preparation for an upcoming event. This is also a good final opportunity to reduce any residual tension and ‘niggles’ which are not quite at 100%, not to mention the mental preparation for competition.

Relaxation
Massage is a great way to help unwind and enhance relaxation. When you’re relaxed, your heart rate and blood pressure lowers. Massage is also good in breaking scar tissue and aids in releasing tension and stress placed on our body due to physical as well as emotional stress (Paolini, 2009).  Whether it is work, or personal related stress, fatigue, anxiety or even before a competition when you feel nervous or overly excited, relaxation massage can help with restful sleep and better preparation for the upcoming event.

Do I need a remedial Massage?
If you can relate to any of the following questions, there are several ways in which us as massage therapists can treat and help to get you closer to your specific goals, often complementing other allied health professionals such as physiotherapists and osteopaths:

  • Are you constantly stressed or anxious?
  • Do have broken sleep or wake up tired?
  • Do you often feel lethargic?
  • Are you time poor due to work or family commitments?
  • Do you suffer from constant aches and pain with your job?
  • Are you on a health kick and undertaking training?
  • Are you training for an upcoming event?
  • Do you want to improve exercise and/or sport performance?
  • Do you want to prevent injury and optimise recovery time?
  • Are you looking to relax and unwind?

What to expect in an Initial Consultation:
Your therapist will discuss your treatment plan with you and establish goals as well as conduct a thorough case assessment, including relevant medical history. An action plan will also be provided to help guide you through your treatment goals with additional advice on exercises that you can self-manage at home, work or at the gym with also advice on what to avoid. Massage is a patient-centred therapy. You are in control of the treatment at all times, and should expect to be treated with respect, courtesy and dignity by all our Elevate Therapists.

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY?

A large body of empirical evidence supports the established effects of massage therapy for the following conditions and populations:

Musculoskeletal Pain, including low back pain:

    • Massage interventions provide short-term improvement of sub-acute and chronic low back pain symptoms and decrease disability at immediate post treatment (Furlan et. Al, 2008).
    • Massage therapy provides short-term relief when combined with therapeutic exercise and education (Patel et. Al, 2012).
    • Five systematic reviews of neck and shoulder pain, including a Cochrane Systematic Review in 2012 which concluded that massage therapy provides short-term relief of mechanical neck pain (Brosseau et. Al, 2012).
    • Massage therapy is an effective intervention that may provide immediate relief of neck and shoulder pain. (Kong et. Al, 2013)
    • A large body of research exploring the connection between active myofascial trigger points and various kinds of myofascial pain and dysfunction, provides underpinning evidence for the use of trigger point techniques, including myofascial dry needling.
    • There is also modest evidence for the effectiveness of massage therapy in ameliorating the symptoms of fibromyalgia (Kalichman, 2010).

Pre/Post Operative:

    • The integration of massage therapy into the acute care setting creates overall positive results in the patient’s ability to deal with the challenging physical and psychological aspects of their health condition.
    • The study demonstrated not only significant reduction in pain levels, but also the interrelatedness of pain, relaxation, sleep, emotions, recovery, and finally, the healing process (Adams et. Al, 2010).
    • A significant body of randomised controlled trials demonstrate the efficacy of massage in the management of pre and post-operative pain, anxiety and tension, and post-operative nausea (Lee & Fan, 2009).
    • Acupressure stimulation of the P6 acupoint significantly reduces post-operative pain and tension (Cochrane, 2009).

Pregnancy/Post natal:

  • A significant body of evidence supports the efficacy of massage throughout pregnancy, and particularly during labour.
  • There is evidence that massage improves the management of labour pain with few adverse side effects (Jones et. Al, 2012).

Athletes/Sport/Exercise:

    • Systematic reviews show that massage therapy is effective in reducing delayed onset muscle soreness and enhancing recovery after strenuous exercise. Several RCTs have also shown positive effects of massage on pain and recovery after strenuous exercise (Ernst E., 1998).

Headaches & Migraines:

    • Massage therapy, physiotherapy, relaxation and chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy might be as effective as propranolol and topiramate in the prophylactic management of migraine (Chaibi, 2011).
    • A number of RCTs investigating headache and migraine also report positive results for massage.

Arthritis:

    • A number of promising RCTs support the efficacy of massage therapy in treating both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
    • One recent RCT of Swedish massage for osteoarthritis of the knee revealed significant improvements across a range of measures compared to usual care (Perlman et. Al, 2012).
    • A study released in 2013 found that twice weekly, self-massage of the quadriceps muscle improved pain, stiffness, physical function and knee range of motion in adults with diagnosed knee osteoarthritis (Atkins & Eichler, 2013).

References:

  1. Paolini, J (2009). Review of Myofascial release as an effective massage therapy technique. Athletic Therapy Today, 14, 30-34.
  2. Furlan AD, Imamura M, Dryden T, Irvin E. (2008). Massage for low-back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Oct 8;(4):CD001929. page 5 Classified Massage Therapy Research – State of the evidence © Association of Massage Therapists Ltd
  3. Brosseau L, Wells GA, Poitras S, Tugwell P, Casimiro L, Novikov M, Loew L, Sredic D, Clément S, Gravelle A, Kresic D, Hua K, Lakic A, Ménard G, Sabourin S, Bolduc MA, Ratté I, McEwan J, Furlan AD, Gross A, Dagenais S, Dryden T, Muckenheim R, Côté R, Paré V, Rouhani A, Léonard G, Finestone HM, Laferrière L, Haines-Wangda A, Russell-Doreleyers M, De Angelis G, Cohoon C. (2012). Ottawa Panel evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on therapeutic massage for low back pain. J Bodyw Mov Ther, 16(4), 424-455.
  4. Patel KC, Gross A, Graham N, Goldsmith CH, Ezzo J, Morien A, Peloso PM. (2012). Massage for mechanical neck disorders. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Sep 12;9:CD004871
  5. Brosseau L, Wells GA, Tugwell P, Casimiro L, Novikov M, Loew L, Sredic D, Clément S, Gravelle A, Hua K, Kresic D, Lakic A, Ménard G, Côté P, Leblanc G, Sonier M, Cloutier A, McEwan J, Poitras S, Furlan A, Gross A, Dryden T, Muckenheim R, Côté R, Paré V, Rouhani A, Léonard G, Finestone HM, Laferrière L, Dagenais S, De Angelis G, Cohoon C. (2012). Ottawa Panel evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on therapeutic massage for neck pain. J Bodyw Mov Ther, 16(3), 300-325.
  6. Kong LJ, Zhan, HS, Cheng YW, Yuan WA, Chen B, & Fang M. (2013). Massage therapy for neck and shoulder pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis [Electronic version]. Evid Based Complem & Altern Med.
  7. Kalichman L. (2010). Massage therapy for fibromyalgia symptoms. Rheumatol Int. Jul;30(9):1151-7.
  8. Adams, R., White, B., Beckett, C. (2010). International Journal Therapeutic Massage Bodywork. 2010; 3(1): 4–11. Published online 2010 Mar 17.
  9. Lee A, Fan LT. (2009). Stimulation of the wrist acupuncture point P6 for preventing postoperative nausea and vomiting. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Apr 15;(2):CD003281.
  10. Jones L, Othman M, Dowswell T, Alfirevic Z, Gates S, Newburn M, Jordan S, Lavender T, Neilson JP. (2012). Pain management for women in labour: an overview of systematic reviews. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Mar 14;3:CD009234.
  11. Smith CA, Levett KM, Collins CT, Jones L. (2012). Massage, Reflexology and other manual methods for pain management in labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Feb 15;2:CD009290
  12. Ernst E. (1998). Does post-exercise massage treatment reduce delayed onset muscle soreness? A systematic review. Br J Sports Med, 32(3), 212-214; and Best TM, Hunter R, Wilcox A, Haq F. (2008) Effectiveness of sports massage for recovery of skeletal muscle from strenuous exercise. Clin J Sport Med, 18(5), 446-460.
  13. Chaibi A, Tuchin PJ, Russell MB. (2011). Manual therapies for migraine: A systematic review. J Headache Pain, 12(2), 127-133.
  14. Perlman AI, Ali A, Njike VY, Hom D, Davidi A, GouldFogerite S, Milak C, Katz DL. (2012). Massage therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee: A randomized dose-finding trial. PLoS One, 7(2), e30248.
  15. Atkins DV & Eichler DA. (2013). The effects of self-massage on osteoarthritis of the knee: A randomized controlled trial. Int J Ther Massage Bodywork, 6(1), 4-14

 

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