It’s important to understand that the term “orthopedic massage” refers to a general therapeutic process. The process calls on the use of different massage techniques as a means of treating joint conditions and injuries.

There are four components tied to this approach. They include:

  • Diagnosis of the muscle or soft tissue condition or injury
  • Assessing how certain massage techniques will affect the injured and surrounding areas
  • Selecting the appropriate massage technique or techniques that are most likely to render the desired results
  • Monitoring the progress of the treatment process with a willingness to make adjustments when necessary

The Injuries That Are Treatable With Orthopedic Massage Therapy

Orthopedic massage therapy is suitable both after orthopedic surgery or as a treatment process unto itself. Regardless of why and when these techniques are used, they are suitable for the following conditions and injuries:

  • Carpal-Tunnel syndrome (palm of the hand)
  • Tennis elbow (strained elbow tendons and ligaments)
  • Frozen shoulder (pain/stiffness in the shoulder joint)
  • Sciatica (pinching of the sciatic nerve into the legs)
  • Bulging discs (compressed discs bulge out between vertebrae)
  • Tendinitis (tendon inflammation and irritation)

The Benefits of Orthopedic Massage Therapy

The goal of the orthopedic massage therapy approach is to provide a non-invasive way for therapists to address a patient’s joint conditions and injuries. With that in mind, here are some of the intended benefits of orthopedic massage therapy:

  • Relief of chronic pain issues – the goal when treating conditions like tendinitis and tennis elbow
  • Improve range of motion – The goal when treating conditions like Carpal-Tunnel, frozen shoulder, and rehabilitation of joint surgeries
  • Increasing blood flow to the muscles – aids in pain relief and the relief of muscle tension
  • Stress relief and relaxation – Causes the release of endorphins during the orthopedic massage process, which helps lower stress levels and muscle tension

Individual Massage Techniques Used During Orthopedic Massage Therapy

After making an assessment and considering the effects of each potential massage technique that could be used during treatment, the therapist has to make a decision. They have to decide which massage technique or techniques will deliver the benefits they want the patient to get.

As part of the orthopedic massage therapy approach, here are the primary massage techniques that could be employed:

Active Engagement: Necessitates compression of muscles to enable the therapist to reach muscles and soft tissues that are otherwise difficult to reach. This is an effective technique that can be used along the spine and hip areas.

Nerve mobilization techniques: Technique used to relieve pain related to pinched nerves. A very good technique for the treatment of nerve conditions like sciatica.

Muscle energy technique: Great option to address pain related to bulging discs and muscle issues in the back. The technique requires that the patient contracts a certain muscle or muscle groups while the therapist applies resistance to limit muscle movement.

Positional release: Some injuries result in tissue fibers that are very sensitive to pressure. This is a gentle massage treatment option whereby the therapist will gently point soft tissues into their proper positions and hold them in place for a prescribed period, usually a minute. This helps soften and stretch tissues, which should result in pain relief.

Myofascial release: Proper blood flow is essential to help repair torn and strained muscles. This technique targets fascia tissues with gentle pressure that is designed to stretch said tissues and improve blood flow to the tissues.

Trigger point therapy: Trigger points are little knots that occur in muscles and soft tissues. This type of therapy aids in locating these knots and massaging them, which releases lactic acid and promotes improved circulation to the injured area.

Prior to submitting yourself to more invasive treatments like surgery for muscle and soft tissue conditions and injuries, you would be well-advised to consider non-invasive orthopedic massage therapy. It’s quite possible that a therapist can correct your problem without you taking significant risks.

If you are dealing with issues related to joint and muscle pain, we would like to encourage you to contact us as soon as possible for a consultation via phone 303-630-9603 or our online form.