Many patients seek out massage therapy treatments to address concerns about mobility. In some cases, joint and muscle soreness create minor disturbances in everyday routines, while for other patients underlying conditions or traumatic events have resulted in more chronic impairments to movement. The registered massage therapist draws upon a wealth of technical and theoretical knowledge in order to develop customized treatments for patients facing a wide range of mobility issues. Whether they are recovering from surgery, coping with neuropathy or confined to a wheelchair, MT has a unique role to play in promoting freedom of movement and optimal health.
Massage therapy plays an important part in facilitating freedom of movement after surgery. Using deep tissue, myofascial release, and cross fiber friction modalities, MTs can help reduce the swelling and stiffness most patients experience following surgical procedures. Massage therapy college equips practitioners with an understanding of neuroanatomy, the musculoskeletal system, and the physiology of pain. This essential knowledge combined with expert techniques can help reduce adhesions, contractures, and guarding muscles - all of which lead to reduced range of motion in post-operative patients. Massage therapy combined with other types of rehabilitative therapy can facilitate quicker healing after surgery, helping patients regain functionality with less long-term discomfort.
Quite often, MTs see patients who are suffering from nerve damage as a result of diabetes. Loss of nerve function typically presents symptoms first in the feet, causing numbness, tingling, burning - and eventually, an inability to perform everyday activities like walking or running. Untreated, diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) usually results in amputation. Fortunately, massage therapy has shown to dramatically improve nerve function and mobility in patients suffering from DPN. Together with medically prescribed protocols, regular massage therapy can help return normal sensation to feet (or hands) using a combination of digital kneading, medium pressure effleurage, deep pressure and whole-hand stroking.
Massage therapy has an important role to play in treating patients with severely reduced mobility. Soft tissue work on the affected limbs can help improve lymphatic drainage and circulation, while reducing the hypercontraction of muscles. Massage therapy training also provides MTs with techniques they can use to alleviate digestive disorders and improve breathing capacity in paralyzed patients. In addition, patients with functionality in one or more limbs find that massage therapy can provide much needed relief from fatigue and hypertonicity.
Have you worked with patients who suffered from an acute loss of mobility?