Three Ways Massage Therapy Can Complement Your Physical Therapy Program
Physical therapy is required for many reasons. It can be due to an injury, surgery, a stroke or any other cause that reduces physical mobility. A physical therapist will use a variety of techniques that are aimed at certain areas of your body and restoring your mobility. Most of this will involve the movement of the joints and placing weight on parts of the body. Although this process can be long, the effectiveness of physical therapy can be enhanced by massage therapy. The following are three reasons for this.
It can help with recovery time after a rehabilitation session
A massage can help to relieve the stiffness that may exist in the muscles after physical therapy. In addition, soreness that develops after a physical therapy session can also be worked out. This helps the speed at which your body recovers before your next appointment. A faster recovery time can mean longer and more productive sessions that will shorten your time spent in physical rehabilitation for your injury.
It helps relieve mental stress from rehabilitation
A good massage is known for its relaxing effect, but this becomes increasingly important during physical rehabilitation. Depending upon the nature of the rehabilitation, it can be a long and often painful road to recovery. There is not only physical stress placed on a patient, but there is also mental stress as well. It is not uncommon for patients to give up on rehabilitation for reasons of mental stress, including depression. A good massage can help provide relief from the mental stress, especially when it is done shortly after physical therapy.
A massage therapist offers focused treatment
Just as a physical therapist will create a plan that is designed to restore your movement, a massage therapist can focus on the areas of your body that are being rehabilitated. The best way to achieve this is to have your physical therapist communicate with your massage therapist, so your massage therapist knows the nature of your physical therapy. Then, he or she can focus the massage on the same areas your physical therapist is focusing on, so you will get the greatest benefit.
Although massage therapy can be complementary to physical therapy, it is important to first talk it over with your primary care physician. It is possible that a medical doctor may know something that neither therapist is aware of. If your doctor gives you the go ahead, it may even be possible to have your doctor coordinate with both the physical and massage therapist for your rehabilitation.