Multiple 60-minute massages per week were more effective than fewer or shorter sessions for individuals with chronic neck pain.
The value of massage therapy continuing education is often dependent on learning how to apply fundamental skill sets of manual therapy.
Children receiving postoperative massage therapy had significantly lower anxiety and lower exposure to benzodiazepines than the standard of care group.
I would like to use this research study and article as a launching board for how we interpret and apply the results of a research study.
Massage is commonly promoted to enhance skin health by increasing its ability to regenerate and improving its elasticity and resilience. However…
Foam roller massage is quite popular nowadays among athletes and being recommended to patients by many health rehabilitation professionals as an intervention to augment other manual therapies or as a warm-up before an athletic activity, or as a recovery after athletic activity.
Regardless of the underlying mechanism, there seems to be a growing number of studies that do show a correlation between massage therapy and blood circulation. Although these studies at present seem to be inconsistent in their findings, the fact that many of them do show a causal relationship is encouraging.
One precaution is that when we do need to use the thumb or fingers, it is a good guideline to always try to contact the client with the pad of the thumb or fingers, instead of the tips of the fingers. In other words, do not lead with the fingertips.
To transition to perform deep strokes and maintain proper body mechanics, it is necessary to transition from being perpendicular to be slightly horizontal to glide along the client’s body. However, minimize the horizontal direction or pressure into the client’s tissues will be lost.
An excellent demonstration of the force that can be generated by using body weight is to lean down onto a bathroom weight scale that is placed on a table that is positioned as various heights. Simply relax and lean into the scale with your body weight and notice the force that you generate.
Stacked joints are aligned in a straight line; in other words, the joints are extended as in anatomic position. This allows for the force from your core to travel through your upper extremity and into the client with little or no loss of strength.
Bracing the contact means that the two hands must work together instead of each contacting the client separately. Less area of the client’s body will be covered this way, but stronger and more efficient pressure will be created at the area that is being worked, which is more important when deep pressure is needed.
Maximal pressure for the effort used is achieved if the angle of your force into the client is perpendicular to the contour of the region being worked. To apply this concept of working perpendicularly, the client’s back and pelvis can be divided into separate regions based on the curve of each region.
Force for deep pressure can be generated in two ways: externally or internally. The external generation of force comes from the force of gravity by using our body weight. The internal generation of force comes from the contraction of our muscles.
Being able to feel tissue tension barriers is the one most important hands-on skill that an orthopedic manual therapist needs. Clinical orthopedic manual therapy (massage and stretching) only effects change if we reach tissue tension and then apply slightly more force beyond it.
When working the low back, a good strategy is to begin with a smaller treatment contact such as thumb or finger pads to assess and begin treatment of the lumbar region, and then switch to a larger contact such as the palm or elbow to deliver deeper pressure.
Make sure that the feet are not too far apart. A wide stance may feel more stable but creates a static position that makes it difficult to transfer weight from one foot to the other. With a narrower stance, it is easier to shift the center of weight of the body from one foot to the other as a stroke is done.
A common body mechanics error is for the therapist to stand above the face cradle at the head end of the table. Standing here only distances you from the client, causing you to lean over the client to reach the low back; this compromises body mechanics and does not allow for the efficient use of body weight.
For proper body mechanics, it is important to support your contact. Place the thumb pad of your right hand over the thumb pad contact of the left hand to brace/support it. Proper location of the brace is to place the right thumb pad on the dorsal surface of the distal phalanx of the thumb.
Even more important than table width is table height. As a rule, when generating deep pressure, you want the table to be as low as possible so that you can more easily position your body above the client to take advantage of gravity and body weight.
This study showed evidence that foam rolling induced modulation of spinal nervous system excitability (in other words, change in the sensitivity of the muscle spindle reflex).
When performing soft tissue manipulation/massage, it is always wise to begin with light to medium pressure, and then transition to deeper pressure.
The major function of the gluteus medius is its “reverse” closed-chain action of pelvic depression at the hip joint to stabilize the pelvis when walking.
The following techniques are considered to be Manual Therapy techniques: Massage (Soft Tissue Manipulation), Stretching, Joint Mobilization, Hydrotherapy.
Manual therapy for a chronic Achilles tendon disorder is aimed at decreasing plantarflexor tightness and breaking up excessive fascial adhesion scar tissue.
The role of manual therapy for a rigid flat foot (overpronation) is to loosen fascial adhesions that are locking the bones in a position of pronation.