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What is Orthopedic Massage?

    What is orthopedic massage

    Orthopedic massage is a type of manual therapy that involves the use of physical manipulation. The body’s soft tissues are targeted to treat or reduce pain. This can be due to orthopedic injuries or other musculoskeletal conditions. Orthopedic massage uses therapeutic techniques like myofascial release, trigger point therapy, and more in order to improve functionality and alleviate pain in their clients. Orthopedic massage can contribute to the healing process of an injury by targeting the involved muscles, tendons and other soft tissues contributing to the injury. Sometimes this is referred to as manual therapy and while the two share a lot of similarities they are different things.

    The Qualifications

    Although there isn’t a set requirement, there are some things your therapist should know. The therapist should have certain qualifications to call themselves an Orthopedic Therapist. They must have a strong knowledge of:

    • Anatomy
    • Physiology
    • Pathology
    • Assessment tests

    and more

    As well as a comprehensive understanding of myofascial trigger points, neural pathways and muscular attachments. An orthopedic massage therapist must also provide evidence of their qualifications and licensure. With least 500 hours of massage instruction, needed for licensure. As well as, at least, 100 hours of orthopedic massage instruction and specialization. Ashley from Tranquil Therapy has an orthopedic specialization and rehabilitation specialization from the Academy of Clinical Massage.

    These focused courses can be taken as CEUs and involve courses such as “Orthopedic Assessment”. They must also be able to assess the patient’s condition and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to their individual needs. Furthermore, they must be able to communicate effectively with their clients. Providing them with the necessary information and support to ensure a successful treatment.

    How Can This Help with Pain Relief

    The main objective of an orthopedic massage is the relief of musculoskeletal pain. Through the application of different techniques such as:

    Trigger point therapy

    Myofascial release

    & Neuromuscular therapy

    The therapist can target and relax areas of tightness, pain, and dysfunction in the body. This can help to reduce inflammation and tension from muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

    In addition to providing relief from pain, orthopedic massage also helps to improve range of motion & reduce stress. Both of which contribute to pain. Orthopedic massage can be used to treat a variety of conditions. Such as frozen shoulder, sports injuries, and more. It is important to find a qualified massage therapist. They can determine and build the best treatment plan for your individual needs.

    two women are seated across from each other talking. one has her hands clasped in at her breast while the other is touching her shoulder. Photo is to depict difficult diagnosis talking about chronic pain through orthopedic massage

    The Difference Between Traditional Massage and Orthopedic Massage

    There is some overlap between traditional massage and orthopedic massage. There are some distinct differences though. Mainly in their approaches to addressing pain and discomfort. Traditional massage typically targets the superficial fascia and muscle layers. While orthopedic massage is focused on deeper layers and deeper structures. Orthopedic massage is also more focused on treating specific musculoskeletal problems while traditional massage is known more for its relaxing effects. Although that will help overall pain it may do so without it being an intentional outcome.

    Types of Orthopedic Massage

    There are many different types of massage available to help treat a variety of muscular pain and disorders. Here are 4 of the most common types of massage used in Orthopedic work.

    1. Myofascial Release involves gentle “stretching” of the fascia surrounding muscles to reduce tension and achieve more range of motion.

    2. Trigger point therapy involves the application of focused pressure to a knotted area of muscle in order to alleviate pain and tightness.

    3. Neuromuscular therapy works to balance your nervous system by targeting the underlying nerve pathways in the body.

    4. Sports massage utilizes specific techniques in order to prevent or manage injuries that occur due to physical activity.

    In addition to these four types of orthopedic massage, there are other specialized techniques that can be used to treat specific conditions. For example, lymphatic drainage massage is used to reduce swelling and inflammation, while “deep tissue” massage is used to target deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. Each type of massage has its own unique benefits and can be used to help treat a variety of musculoskeletal issues.

    End Goals

    Our Goal is to help our clients with their functional movement. To move without pain and manage it through education. Ask your therapist how they can help you to find one that can meet your unique needs. At Tranquil Therapy we are always taking new classes and studying to ensure out clients have the best chance at a pain free lifestyle. This includes completing a personal training program that we reference during most session.


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