Massage Therapy and Physical Therapy Combined
Massage therapy and physical therapy work together very well. When combining the two modalities the results for the patient happen quicker. Massage can relax the muscles so that the physical therapy treatment is less painful and will hold longer. Here at Timberline Physical Therapy we employ massage therapists so that our patients can get the best results possible all at one location.
Massage therapy addresses different needs through varying techniques, one of which is called Swedish Massage, which aims to relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation through mild pressure applied to the muscle groups of the body”(American Pregnancy Association, 2013). Some patients cannot get a massage when lying on their stomach. We provide massage while the patient is lying on their side. This is helpful when back injuries or surgery has occurred. Massage therapists at Timberline will provide a massage in the best position for the client.
Studies have shown that prenatal massage therapy can ease symptoms of anxiety, depression, relieve muscle tension and improve labor outcomes and newborn health (American Pregnancy Association, 2013).
Pregnancy massage is offered at Timberline Physical Therapy to help our female patients during their pregnancy. We can help relieve pain on the weight bearing joints, improves blood and lymph circulation, relieve back pain, relieve neck pain, and relieve headaches. Pregnancy massage also relieves stress which can improve the outcome of delivery.
Swedish Massage is the recommended prenatal massage method during pregnancy because it addresses many common discomforts associated with the skeletal and circulatory changes brought on by hormone shifts during pregnancy.
Massage therapist, Douglas Black, applies therapeutic techniques to his client’s low back during her prenatal session. Low back pain is a common complaint during pregnancy; however, symptoms can often be alleviated with massage therapy.
Deep tissue massage is a therapeutic treatment that addresses restrictions in the inner layers of muscle tissue. This technique is commonly used to treat patients who are experiencing pain due to work and or sports injuries, whiplash, osteoarthritis, muscle spasms, fibromyalgia and strain injuries.
When there is chronic muscle tension or injury, there are usually adhesions (bands of painful, rigid tissue) in muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They can block circulation and cause pain, limited movement, and inflammation.
Deep tissue massage works by physically breaking down these adhesions to relieve pain and restore normal movement. Combining deep tissue massage with your physical therapy treatments can give a faster pain relief. Timberline’s massage therapists are trained to work with patients with injuries where deep tissue massage is very helpful.
Therapeutic Stretching Technique
Therapeutic stretching of the muscles can lengthen muscles that have shortened over time. There are some common work related injuries where this method is very useful. Some examples are people who sit at computers all day, and people who have their head in a downward position for work. Therapeutic stretching of the shortened muscles can relieve the pain related to the chronic injury. Adding this type of massage will give you better results from your physical therapy treatments.
Massage therapist, Ariel Magram, applies the pin and stretch technique to her patient’s trapezius muscle. This technique is used to reduce pain and increase circulation and mobility.
Many patients seek trigger point therapy after losing flexibility or function following an injury or if experiencing ongoing back, shoulder, hip, or virtually pain in any area containing soft tissue. The trigger points are areas within the muscles that become tight causing radiating pain. Massage therapists at Timberline Physical Therapy are trained in locating these spots and applying pressure to relieve the pain. This can help the patient become pain free faster after an injury.
Trigger point therapy is shown here to relieve a headache caused by hyper irritability in the patient’s sub occipital muscles.