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Massage therapy is incredibly beneficial for just about anyone. Any kind of pain, discomfort, and stress can be significantly alleviated with the help of professional massage. In fact, if you’ve injured yourself during a particularly tenuous gym session, some types of massages, such as deep tissue massage, can do a lot to get you on your way to recovery. This is why we will let you in on all that you need to know about the beneficial role of massage therapy in injury recovery.
So, massages are indispensable when it comes to body rehabilitation after an injury. In addition, massage therapies are also fantastic when it comes to preventing injuries!
Massages help decrease anxiety and stress. And when you are not under a lot of stress, your sleep quality improves. All of this makes massage therapy invaluable for the recovery process and your general well-being.
How often do I have to get a massage to feel the benefits?
What needs to be noted is that several sessions are needed to feel the results. Furthermore, they need to be separated by a day or two. In order to feel the benefits, you cannot just haphazardly schedule the massages whenever you want. It would be best if you were committed and punctual.
Yet this is only a part of the story. There are scores of benefits that your body can harness from a good massage.
For example, massage therapy that also involves a body scrub not only takes out the tension from your body but also removes dead skin cells that pile up on your epidermis, making your skin feel soft and glowy. A good scrub also promotes circulation, which has a host of benefits for your recovery (aside from amazing-looking skin).
Of course, it is not only the appearance of your skin that improves with the help of a massage. It is no coincidence that massages are a regular part of professional athletes’ daily routines and their injury recovery plans.
Namely, deep tissue massages release tension and fluids. This is one of the reasons why an injured body is able to recuperate efficiently after a few treatments. Hence, let’s take a quick look at all the benefits of massage therapy.
Why is massages therapy good for recovering from an injury?
Massage therapy speeds up the healing process
When it comes to sports injuries, the body has to increase its flexibility and strength in order to recover quickly and properly. In that sense, massage therapy has a crucial role in injury recovery as it helps the muscles in your body relax by releasing muscle tension.
Aside from muscle tension, carbonic acid, lactic acid, and other substances that pile up in the muscles after exercise are also dissolved by the body more quickly after massage therapy. Hence, this kind of muscle stimulation helps the body initiate recovery processes more rapidly and efficiently.
Of course, there are other ways you can improve the recovery process after a sports injury. For instance, good nutrition alongside massage therapy enables the body to recover in no time. This is good news for athletes and people who have to get back to work (or the gym) as soon as possible.
Blood circulation and muscle nutrition
Massages enhance blood circulation, which means the body is able to transport the necessary nutrients and oxygen all around the body. Also, the transmission of these and other healthy substances vital for tissue rejuvenation happens more proficiently.
In simple terms, good blood circulation nourishes the body, which builds body strength and makes the healing process easier.
Massages reduce stress
Massages are stress-relievers. So, not only does the muscular tension get treated with the help of pressure, but massages also reduce psychological stress.
Physical pain and discomfort can be accompanied by a lot of frustration or emotional and psychological distress. However, a massage is a great way to help yourself relax mentally as well as physically. For example, essential oils, aroma therapy-based massages, and CBD oil massages do wonders for the body and mind.
Some pampering after an injury certainly won’t do you any harm!
Muscle flexibility and role of massage therapy in injury recovery
Massage therapy works wonders for muscle flexibility. After an injury, your range of movements might be quite reduced since your muscles are still tense. A massage of the injured area can relax the muscles, activate them and help the patient retain a full range of motion. Or in other words, massages help your muscles become more flexible.
However, this only happens gradually. Muscle flexibility cannot be improved immediately, so be sure not to force your muscles before the time is right.
Massage therapy helps prevent future injuries
As we have mentioned, it is not just immediately after an injury that massage therapy is helpful. This is related to improved muscle flexibility. Namely, when the muscles are flexible and strong, the connective tissue is less prone to adhesions and internal muscle haemorrhaging.
Also, some studies point to a connection between massage therapy and the release of chemicals such as nitrogen, sulphur, and phosphorus – elements that are essential for muscle regeneration.
Which injuries can massage therapy resolve?
There is a number of injuries that can be treated with massage therapy. However, it is important that you observe massage therapy as a supplementary health treatment. So, even if you do not feel a lot of pain after a training session, you need to consult a doctor if the pain does not go away.
Let’s see which injuries are most commonly treated with massage therapy.
Lower back pain
Most of us work long hours in offices. This means we spend a lot of time in a seated position. This is, of course, not especially good for our spine, back muscles, and posture.
When you are sitting for extended periods, your back muscles have to endure a lot of pressure. Lower back pain is exacerbated if the person slouches while sitting or if the posture is bad.
In addition, exercising can make lower back pain worse if you are not doing the exercises correctly. This also happens when you are lifting weights that are too heavy for your spine and back muscles.
This is why you should contact a certified massage specialist the moment you notice you have lower back pain after exercising. A massage will help alleviate the pain and strengthen your muscles.
Proper posture while sitting and a chair designed to support your back could also help eliminate lower back pain. Some people who work eight or more hours may opt for a sit-stand dynamic or even standing desks to deal with this problem.
Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
Just like lower back pain, this condition is also common if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. Strains can occur in different parts of the body. This includes shoulders, neck, back, but also arms and hands.
In some cases, you may feel a tingling sensation, tightness, or numbness in one or more than one area of your body. Just like with lower back pain, you might experience greater strain or even injury after exercise. If this happens to you, it is essential to see a massage specialist to deal with the built-up tension and strain in time.
Aside from ergonomic chairs, which promote good posture, you can also reduce the strain by using a softer grip when holding the mouse or other tools. Also, be sure to take regular breaks in order to prevent RSI.
Neck pain caused by back muscle strain
People frequently experience pain in their necks due to a number of factors. These factors may be an inadequate sleeping position, a sports injury, or prolonged strain similar to RSI. As constant neck pain can significantly diminish your quality of life, it is important that you address this problem adequately.
Luckily, massage therapy helps with neck pain as well. A certified physiotherapist will be able to massage problematic points in the neck. Even more importantly, they will able to locate the deeper cause of the problem.
Therapeutic massages are usually associated with back or neck pain. Yet, the human knee has a very complex structure, making it very susceptible to injuries and pain. For example, a knee injury called patellofemoral pain happens when you experience pain around or in the knee, between the thighbone and the kneecap.
The role of massage therapy in injury recovery related to joints and muscles in the knee is also worth addressing. Massage therapists are able to alleviate pain by applying pressure in the area of the impacted muscle and joint. Yet, it is advisable that you consult an osteopath to see if you would benefit from knee massage therapy.