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Orthopedic Massage: The new standard in soft tissue injuries

What is orthopedic massage. It is defined as a massage that focuses on soft tissue injuries. Goals usually comprise of decreasing pain, increasing range of motion, preventing further injury, and getting back to regular daily routines and activities. By understanding soft tissue pain and injury practitioners can aid in rehabilitation.

Assessment is a large component of orthopedic massage. By discussing the problem and performing orthopedic tests a therapist can narrow down possible physiological effects and decide an appropriate treatment plan. This type of massage requires extensive training because it deals with many different medical conditions. Some of these conditions include but aren't limited to ACL tears, frozen shoulder, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, and whiplash. Orthopedic massage can also be used to speed recovery after surgery.

Techniques that may be used during an orthopedic massage include: Active engagement, muscle energy techniques, myofascial and positional release, PNF stretching, and trigger point therapy. As with most massage, it is crucial to communicate with your therapist about your pain level and tolerance. If anything becomes too much then you can always pause the massage or change the method being used.


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  8. Selkow, N. M., Grindstaff, T. L., Cross, K. M., Pugh, K., Hertel, J., & Saliba, S. (2009). Short-term effect of muscle energy technique on pain in individuals with non-specific lumbopelvic pain: a pilot study. Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy, 17(1). doi:10.1179/jmt.2009.17.1.14e

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