Remedial massage is a clinical approach to soft tissue dysfunction that focuses on a systematic assessment of a person’s tendons, muscles, ligaments and other connective tissues. It is performed to aid in the management of pain resulting from an injury to allow the body to return to its normal condition. Prior to the actual treatment, you will undergo a physical assessment to determine what application will be performed to eliminate pain in a specific area of the body. Your therapist will also tackle a detailed history of what caused the chronic pain and dysfunction.
What Does Remedial Massage Involve?
Remedial massage is designed to balance tension and soft tissue length to improve blood flow in the injured areas, and to promote the body’s own healing process. In alleviating the source of pain, a remedial therapist will apply targeted pressure using his or her fingers or elbow.
There are a range of techniques used in remedial massage to balance muscles and promote a return to normal bone and joint position. We cover some of the common techniques below:
Deep Tissue Therapy
This technique involves applying deep pressure to penetrate within the muscle and fascia, and to help release muscle tension. It is especially beneficial for relieving lower back pain, a stiff neck, muscle stiffness and shoulder pain. The techniques involved in deep tissue therapy are designed to break down muscle adhesions that can cause inflammation and limited range of motion.
At the beginning of this type of massage, the therapist will apply lighter pressure to warm up the body and to prepare the muscles for subsequent deep pressure. As a technique used for remedial massage, deep tissue therapy helps improve joint mobility.
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger points, also known as muscle “knots”, are typically observed in acute and chronic pain conditions. A trigger point in the leg, for example, may radiate through the buttocks and cause a sharp ache.
Trigger point therapy is a technique used in remedial massage to alleviate the source of the pain by applying direct pressure to muscles with active trigger points. In most cases, these specified points are weaker compared to normal muscles, and have a limited range of motion. In this type of remedial massage therapy, you are encouraged to participate actively through deep breathing to further enhance the therapeutic benefits of the massage.
Myofascial Release (MFR)
Also referred to as foam rolling, MFR is another technique used in remedial massage to correct muscle imbalance and improve joint range of motion. This hands-on technique involves applying sustained pressure to the myofascial connective tissue to relieve pain. This allows your therapist to detect fascial restriction and to apply the appropriate amount of gently sustained pressure to treat fascial restrictions.
Restrictions released through this therapeutic approach include muscle tightness, trigger points and soft tissue dysfunction that can cause limited motion in different parts of the body.
Strain-Counterstrain or Positional Release Therapy
This technique focuses on treating protective muscle spasm by identifying a tender point in the patient’s body and positioning the tissue and the body away from the restricted motion barrier and towards a position of comfort. Your therapist will hold the precise position for a minimum of 90 seconds up to a few minutes. During this period, you may experience vibration, pulsation and a reproduction of your symptoms. But once you are taken out of the position, the pain, vibration and pulsation will be completely gone, and your tender point will start to feel better.
Immediate effects from this type of remedial massage include improved mobility and flexibility, enhanced range of motion, and improved postural alignment.
Proprioneuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
This is an advanced massage technique used in remedial massage to help improve muscular strength and increase flexibility. It uses a combination of gentle resistance and passive stretching to reset the overall length of the muscle. The results are less fatigue, improved joint range of motion, better biomechanics, and decreased risk for overuse injuries. PNF should only be performed by trained professionals to avoid adding more stress on a specific muscle group, which can lead to soft tissue injury.
What Are the Benefits of Regular Remedial Massage?
Regular remedial massage therapy offers a number of health benefits. For one, it works to remove toxins from the muscles by promoting blood circulation. With the use of soft tissue techniques, the blood supply to damaged tissue and nerves is also increased, allowing for a faster recovery and repair of both acute and chronic injuries. Another benefit of remedial massage therapy is that it works not only to relax the muscles, but also to strengthen them. Strong muscles will in turn allow you to stay active and have more flexibility.
Some of the conditions that can be treated with remedial massage therapy include:
- Frozen shoulder
- Back and neck pain
- Sports injuries
- Muscle tightness and pain
If you are experiencing chronic pain in your tendons or muscles, consider setting an appointment for remedial massage therapy with Trained Physio and Fitness. We provide 30 or 60 minute remedial massage therapy sessions to treat your problem areas. The 30 minute appointments are ideal for treating one problem area, such as the shoulder or neck. However, if you require a full treatment, then scheduling a 60 minute appointment is the best option for you.