Recently I wrote about the many benefits of massage therapy. One of those benefits is how massage therapy can help the body heal after having surgery or an injury. The rehabilitation process can be a slow and frustrating one. The goal of a physical therapy program is to increase strength, flexibility, and eliminate the pain to normalize the injured tissues to return you to your pre-injury condition. Massage plays an important role in speeding up the recovery process.
- Massage can reduce the formation of scar tissue. After an injury or surgery, your body will heal by forming scar tissue to repair itself. This process of scar tissue formation can lead to adhesions, increased pain, contractures and decreased movement/flexibility. Massage has been shown to break up the scar tissue and improve the mobility of the tissue by helping the laying down of the collagen substructures.
- Massage can increase blood flow to the injured tissues. The action of massaging the injured area will create friction and warm up the tissue. This improves blood flow and helps provide needed nutrients and oxygen to the injured area for healing. The increased blood flow will also help to flush out the tissue of any waste products. Improving blood flow accelerates the healing of the injured tissue.
- Massage can decrease swelling in the area. After surgery or an injury, swelling will occur. The increased swelling will decrease flexibility and range of motion in the joint as well as increase the risk of joint problems after the surgery or injury. Massage has been shown to reduce the swelling by increasing the lymphatic drainage and improving the body’s ability to reabsorb the blood/fluid in the joint.
- Massage can eliminate stiffness and improve mobility in the problem area. The reduction in stiffness, restoration of normal movement and the relaxation it provides will help you to focus on healthy healing instead of pain and anxiety. Being able to relax and allow the body’s own natural healing process to occur results in a speedier recovery.
- Massage can provide pain relief after surgery or an injury. Postoperative pain can complicate and delay your recovery. Many pain medications have unpleasant side effects. Research has shown that massage will stimulate the nerve endings needed to decrease sympathetic responses to postoperative or post injury pain. This results in less pain and an increased feeling of calmness and well-being. Thus, you are less dependent on pain medications and in a much improved state for the natural healing process to occur.
Most of us want to heal faster naturally without the need for pain medication and without any unwanted side effects. Massage will help to accomplish this by assisting the body in getting more oxygen/nutrients to the tissues, accelerating the healing process, improving joint mobility/flexibility, and providing much needed pain relief.
At Flex Physical Therapy, our specially trained therapists utilize the most current revolutionary massage techniques to assist you in the healing process. Call us today at 1-800-930-8803 to schedule your appointment and heal faster from your injury!