Usually, the word massage is associated with stress relief, which is one of the many benefits that one can get from massage. Medical massage is different in a sense that it is outcome-based and is aimed at alleviating a diagnosed problem. A lot of conditions can be treated with medical massage, from sciatica to fibromyalgia to impact injuries.
Medical massage is a treatment activity that does not involve medication and is prescribed by the physician to help with both acute and chronic problems. The physician gives instructions to the physical therapist regarding the condition and the area affected, then the physical therapist performs the specific massage depending on the type of condition the patient has. Symptoms that are present can range from tight muscles, nerve entrapments, muscle spasm, pain, and inflammation.
Once the patient has a treatment plan, medical massage is usually done in conjunction with other exercises and modalities to decrease muscle spasm, pain and other dysfunction resulting from the patient’s primary condition. Different medical massage techniques are applied by the physical therapist depending on the disorder and are not limited to the following: deep tissue mobilization, neuromuscular therapy, trigger point and myofascial release, positional release, and strain/counterstrain.
Some of the other benefits of medical massage include assisting the patient to regain range of motion and muscle strength, returning circulation to the affected area, and boosting the immune system. Improvement in coordination and posture may also be noted, leading to a decrease in symptoms due to the muscle imbalances they bring about.