Those with chronic or acute injury may not be confined to rehabilitation.  Massage therapy may be beneficial as well for those suffering from chronic or acute injuries.  Benefits include decreased pain and anxiety, increased endorphins, decreased insomnia, less muscle spasms, decreased tension headaches, and an increased sense of well-being and relaxation.

Finding an experienced clinical massage therapist (or rehabilitation massage therapist) is vital, as opposed to a massage therapist.  The massage will be a site-specific treatment with a defined goal or outcome that treats a particular problem area.

Compared to a traditional relaxation massage, a clinical massage will have a therapist with the same basic skills and knowledge as a relaxation therapist, but with specialized experience working with people with injuries or complaints.  Many clinical massage therapists continue their education with the hundreds of available diverse courses.  Many take classes that will shape their practice, such as classes for Rotator Cuff injuries, IT Band Syndrome, common orthopedic injuries, Neuro-fascial Integration and positional release.  The classes are advanced and hands on.  Clinical massage therapists usually work within a medical setting with chiropractors, physical therapists, athletic trainers and doctors at their disposal.

Before the first massage, the therapist will discuss patient history and what they wish to get out of it, whether it is to be pain free or to run better.  A multitude of questions are asked in hopes of knowing all there is to know about the patient and to create a plan of treatment.  The therapist may recommend how frequently the patient should be treated, what the patient can do to further their treatment on their own and may refer the patient for further treatment if necessary.

However, there are disadvantages. Treatments can be pricy potentially reaching $200 an hour and insurance policies may not cover therapeutic massage.  Also, they can be time consuming ranging from 60 to 90 minutes without the ability to multi-task during the treatment.  For busy people this may be an issue.  Massage therapy is an intimate treatment sometimes requiring partial nudity, an issue for some as well.  No matter how skilled a therapist, there is still the risk of accidental injury including bruising, soreness and potentially nerve damage with deep muscle massage.  In some very rare cases, massage therapy has set off nerve related illnesses like shingles and neuropathies.

Overall, the benefits may outweigh the disadvantages.  While some injuries may require both, some may only need massage therapy or rehabilitation.  Your doctor or therapist can prescribe the course of treatment and decide what is best for the injury.  For more information or to find a clinical massage therapist visit the first link below.

Sources:

Athletico: http://www.athletico.com/blog/index.php/2012/07/03/massage-therapy-to-enhance-your-rehabilitation/

Livestrong- Disadvantages to Clinical Massage Therapy: http://www.livestrong.com/article/129614-disadvantages-massage-therapy/

Beaumont-Benefits of CMT: http://www.beaumont.edu/integrative-medicine-massage

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Comments

I can see that as an alternative, but it's costly nonetheless. I wish there was something cheaper as an option for treatments.

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Massages are also a helpful and practical way to soothe the patient from sports injury stress. It is a great article about the benefits of massage.

I found people try always to save money when it comes to treat their body. Health is the most important thing you have.

In france, insurance policies cover these kind of treatment! We are so lucky with that...

I have found with my clients that they benefit greatly from massage therapy along with their physical therapy. Unfortunately, insurance companies don't like massage therapy that much and won't pay for it. Or, if they do pay for it, they limit the number of visits.

Really great post. Massage is an excellent tool for physical therapists. Having muscles that are relaxed pain free are much easier to work with.

Hello and thank you for this post. It was very informative. I agree about the value of therapeutic massage. At our physical therapy clinic, we have a massage therapist because we believe in the value it adds to a persons overall well-being and contribution to healing and rehab. I hope others will see the benefit in it too. Thank you again.

Great article! As a fitness consultant I always stress the importance of massage to my clients on a day to day basis. We are reluctant when it comes to spending money on ourselves and our health yet we tend to not care about the cost of a meal out etc, ironic really. Both personal training and massage therapy when combined can really help you get back on track. This is my first time posting to a blog but I hope this helps, Chris

I can personally recommend physical therapy. My husband was involved in a pretty bad fall at work. He fell from about 10 feet straight on his back and ended up hitting his head very hard on the floor. It took him a while to recover from the head injury but his back was actually what ended up with the most problems from that accident. He was doing physical therapy for about a year and then a good friend of ours recommended that he also try massage therapy as another alternative treatment. Within a few months he was off a couple of his pain meds and able to relieve most of the pain he has suffered from in his back since the accident. I can not recommend both enough! Mercedez

I strongly agree that massages help with sport injury stresses. I think they particularly help on an emotional level as well as a physical level. Expense is a problem with massages as sited but frequently if you find a personal trainer they will offer massages at reduced rates with the added benefit of being able to aid your recovery with specific tailored training.

I am a dentist in South Orange County and find that clients that receive massages a day or two coming in to get dental work are more relaxed than those that don't.

We believe massage therapy will continue to move into the mainstream as therapists receive more specific massage training. Thanks for covering this clinical aspect of the field.

Massages are a great way to help the body and the mind relax and unwind.Even if there are plenty of people out there that claim to be able to give a sport massage or a deep tissue,is always better to have a short chat with them before.I guess faking not knowing how a muscle is called(the scientific way) is the easiest way to check their reaction and knowledge.Stay healthy.

Massages are also a helpful and practical way to calm the body this was a very informative post. Thank you!

Thank you for the information. I wish all physical therapists incorporated more massage into their routines for patients.

The suggestion is really helpful to all. Massage is an excellent tool for physical therapists. It is a great article about the benefits of massage. Thank you.

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