The Benefits of Massage Therapy After an Injury

How Massage Can Help You Heal After an Injury

The Benefits of Massage Therapy After an InjuryIf you’re hurt in a motor vehicle accident, slip-and-fall, or sports-related incident, there are a range of treatment options that can help restore you to maximum health. Among the most effective and least risky is massage therapy. Massage therapy is not invasive, so you won’t have to worry about complications that can arise during a surgical procedure, like infection or extended recovery time. Furthermore, unlike pharmaceutical alternatives, massage therapy doesn’t pose the risk of drug abuse or addiction. So what can massage therapy do for you after an injury? How will it help you heal?

Massage—Helping the Body Naturally Recover

The human body is an amazing organism, with many of the tools built in to help maintain and recover good health. Massage therapy can be an integral part of the rehabilitation process after an injury.

When you sustain certain injuries, from sprains, strains, and muscle pulls to fractures, it’s common to experience swelling, inflammation, stiffness, and/or tension, both in the area of the injury and in other parts of your body. The latter occurs as muscles in other areas compensate for the trauma suffered. For example, an injury to the left ankle may lead to pain or discomfort in the right hip, knee, or foot as you overcompensate for the tenderness in the left ankle. Although the body’s response to trauma is primarily designed to prevent further injury, your body may overreact, making it difficult and painful to move.

One of the key functions of therapeutic massage is to relax muscles. When muscles are tight, blood flow and circulation can be restricted. Because your blood carries oxygen and other valuable nutrients throughout your body, those stiff muscles can impede healing by depriving cells, muscles, and connective tissue of the things they need to heal. Massage therapy helps your brain and your body to produce certain chemicals that enhance relaxation.

In addition, when a massage therapist releases the tension in your muscles, the increased blood flow causes your muscles to become warmer. When your muscles are warmer, they become more pliable, causing less stress when you stretch them. The more relaxed your muscles are, the less likely you’ll strain or tear them in the ordinary course of your day-to-day activities.

The increased relaxation that massage therapy brings can also make it possible for you to participate in physical therapy and rehabilitation strategies that can strengthen muscles and increase range of motion. Furthermore, the increased blood flow that massage promotes can help flush out the excess fluids caused by inflammation, further reducing discomfort.

Physical Therapy