Orthopedic Massage & Neuromuscular Therapy is a form of Therapeutic Massage that addresses painful and dysfunctional Orthopedic conditions from any number of activities such as work, sports or accidents.
Orthopedic Massage offers a systematic and effective approach to treating painful orthopedic conditions and injuries. Orthopedic conditions are defined as injuries and painful conditions which affect the locomotor soft-tissues, or the musculoskeletal system, such as the skeleton, joints, muscles, fascia, and supporting structures such as ligaments and cartilage.
By utilizing a systematic 4 step approach Orthopedic Massage sets itself apart from other massage methods. It offers a comprehensive approach which include:
- Matching the Physiology of the Injury to the Effects of Therapy
- Therapeutic Adaptability
- Appropriate use of Rehabilitation Protocol
Simply put is the gathering of information to make informed decisions about therapeutic intervention. The goal of which is to reduce symptoms and improve tissue function in the involved tissues. The assessment is an ongoing process that begins at the initial consultation and continues throughout the entire therapeutic session. Diagnosis is not a part of the assessment in that it does not identify or label illness or injuries..
MATCHING PHYSIOLOGY TO EFFECTS OF THERAPY:
Specialized training and critical thinking skills are needed here to successfully match the physiology of the injury with the physiological effects of the therapeutic technique. There are many techniques available to the practitioner, for this reason understanding how the tissues will respond to a particular therapy, and what therapeutic approach will best meet the needs of the injured soft-tissues from the first visit and going forward requires a through and solid knowledge base. Understanding the effects of a specific technique for a specific injury or chronic condition is key for a successful and complete recovery.
While effective clinical reasoning plays a critical role in selecting the correct therapeutic approach for each particular case the practitioner must not ignore the uniqueness of the client’s clinical presentation. There is not single technique or method that works for all soft-tissue pathology. As a result treatment adaptability or altering the course of the therapeutic approach may be necessary for complete healing and healthy restoration of soft-tissue injuries.
APPROPRIATE USE OF REHABILITATION PROTOCOL:
The final component is the use of appropriate rehabilitation protocol. It is used to support recovery following tissue injury. As important as this process is it is often began to soon which leads to incomplete healing of the soft-tissues and subsequent re-injury. The results can be chronic pain that can last for life. Rushing the soft-tissue injury repair process is the leading cause of treatment failure in musculoskeletal disorders. The rehabilitation protocol in itself is a 4 step process. Although there is or can be overlapping during each step it is important and necessary for complete recovery of soft-tissue injury and dysfunction. If the individual is subjected to the same activities which initially created the problem or dysfunction these steps are extremely important.
THE FOUR STEPS ARE:
- Normalizing soft-tissue dysfunction
- Improving flexibility
- Restoring proper movement patterns
- Strengthening and conditioning
Within these steps the practitioner understands what the healthy function of the involved tissues are, and returns them to as near normal as possible. Improving flexibility is sometimes integrated into the initial therapy that seek to normalize the tissues. If, however, stretching is not appropriate at this level it is addressed at a later time. Along with soft-tissue injuries a dysfunctional neuromuscular compensating pattern can develop that alters the normal patterns of movement in a muscle or muscle group. Along with gaining flexibility and function an integration of proper movement patterns must be included. As a result of injury and dysfunction the body can develop protective muscle spasms or biomechanical imbalances as a result of the body attempting to compensate for the injury or dysfunction. This requires re-setting movement patterns to as normal as possible. Aquiring new neuromuscular patterns are best accomplished when they are repeated in a regular and frequent pattern. Strength and conditioning is the last stage in this process. This should be done only when the musculature and soft-tissues have regained their flexibility and proper movement patterns have been instituted to insure re-injury done not occur. With greater conditioning the likelihood of re-injury is greatly diminished. While this step can be a long process re-educating the muscle or muscle group in the proper movement patterns and giving them the strength they need to accomplish their task will insure that your body has the proper tools it needs to protect you from further injury or dysfunction.