What Is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is a manual technique that involves hands-on manipulation that applies pressure and manipulation deep into the muscles and to the ligaments to promote healing and to relieve tension. Massage therapy is frequently applied to repair muscle damage following an injury, high load activity, or repetitive strain injury. Massage therapy can also help towards pain relief, this is something that can greatly improve quality of life by reducing aches and pains and stiffness as well as promoting relaxation.
Different Types Of Massage Therapy
There are a number of different types of massage therapy, each designed to target a different objective and tailored to suit differing individual needs as muscle damage can be a result of a variety of sources both sporting and occupation.
Trigger Point Therapy
Massage is often used in conjunction with trigger point therapy. Trigger points refer to areas of muscle with tightness or knots – these sometimes cause referred pain, this is when pain is felt in another area of the body, away from its source. For example, a knot in the neck, shoulders or even the back, maybe the cause of a persistent headache. In some cases, localised pain is experienced at the point of the knot or trigger point itself, but in the majority of cases, it is felt elsewhere.
Deep Friction Massage
Deep friction massage is a specific type of massage intended to target connective tissues and deeper muscle structures. It is applied transversely to specific muscles to maintain mobility and to prevent scar tissue from forming. Scar tissue can form quickly as part of the healing process in response to damage. It can also help to prevent the formation of scar adhesions if they have already formed however, the intense and deep friction can help to break them down.
Sports massage is commonly used in the rehabilitation of injuries, this type of therapy involves the mobilisation and manipulation of soft tissues and myofascial structures. Both athletes and non-athletes can benefit from sports massage. Trigger point therapy and deep friction may be used as part of a sports massage.
This is a specific type of massage aimed at relieving the discomfort of pregnant women, especially in the muscles and joints of the lower back, hips and legs – where pain typically occurs as a result of the additional stress to the weight-bearing joints. Pregnancy massage can also help to reduce swelling in the arms and legs as well as increasing the blood and lymph circulation whilst reducing stress and muscle tension.
What Can Massage Therapy Help With?
Massage can help with a wide range of different pain-related conditions including sports-related injuries, musculoskeletal disorders caused by intense exercise or occupational stress, scar tissue, pregnancy-related discomfort, muscle tightness or everyday pains and discomfort. It can also help to improve overall circulation, as blood flow is enhanced during massage, much in the same way as it is during exercise. This can help to speed up recovery as well as improve general wellbeing.
Stress Relief and Anxiety
Massage can also be beneficial towards stress relief and anxiety providing relaxation and helping to improve general wellbeing and boost the mood. It can also help to improve sleep quality through relaxation and fewer muscular pains. Massage therapy may also be useful to people with depression or anxiety-related disorders.
Do I Need Physiotherapy Or Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is often used for the immediate relief and relaxation of painful musculoskeletal pain whereas physiotherapy is generally used towards the rehabilitation of muscular and joint function – however, both therapies are often combined to form an effective treatment programme.
How We Can Help
We offer various types of massage therapy including sports massage, pregnancy massage and remedial massage as well as our physiotherapy services. For more information on the best course of treatment to suit your needs, get in touch today.