Massage therapy is comforting and can be an important part of any wellness program, but can be particularly helpful after a sports injury has occurred. Coupling massage with physical therapy has shown to help patients heal faster and in some cases, more completely. Massage therapy can be helpful not just in cases of minor injuries, but sometimes even in more severe cases.
Muscle Spasms and Tissue Injuries
Muscle spasms and injuries to the soft tissues of the body can be debilitating and can prevent an athlete from returning to the game or even from participating in the normal activities of daily living. The pressure applied by the therapist during a massage can help to stimulate blood flow to the muscles and tissues, allowing oxygen and nutrients to flow through these areas and promote healing. Lactic acid and hormones contributing to inflammation may also be flushed through tissues due to improved circulation.
Broken bones must set to heal, but this rigid positioning can cause stiffness that delays thorough healing. Massage can help to promote flexibility in the limb or body area surrounding the broken bone, so that the area does not stiffen while the bone heals. This can help patients return to normal activities more quickly after healing. Massage therapy may also provide some pain relief, which can help patients to participate more fully in healing exercises.
Burns and Skin Injuries
While burns are not a type of injury that massage therapy is generally thought to help with, some studies have shown that patients that have suffered burns and other skin injuries have benefited greatly from coupling massage therapy with other types of therapies. Massage therapy can help to reduce skin sensitivity, which may help patients acclimate more quickly. Massage therapy may also help to lessen itching for patients with skin injuries resulting from sports accidents.
Massage therapy can help to lower stress levels and reduce the risks of depression and other emotional damage, which is important when patients are working to overcome sports injuries. The relaxation promoted by massage is helpful, but the simple element of touch can also be a valuable component in recovering from a sports injury. Often, patients’ family members refrain from touch out of fear of causing pain. The element of touch in massage therapy can promote a positive outlook and increase a patient’s sense of well being.
If you are recovering from a sports injury, call today to find out how chiropractic care and massage can become a valuable part of your therapy plan.