The cast came off and the joint wasn’t what it used to be. The skin felt tight and bound down around the scar, the tissue sticking together. What was more, burning zingers radiated from the scar and the bone felt like fire ants. Although it used to be normal, now the joint didn’t want to move. When the therapist worked on it they could feel tight bands and knots in the muscles around the area. The fascia felt tight, not wanting to move. Even the joint itself felt stiff.
If you are recovering from an injury, massage may aid your healing as part of an integrative approach to care. Therapeutic Massage can help get muscles, fascia, and other soft tissues feeling better. Similarly, Lymphatic Massage can help speed healing and reduce swelling.
For minor injuries such as a pulled muscle, massage can help ease pain and relax tight muscle fibers. Often a short series can get everything back to normal. In fact, sometimes as little as one session can make a huge difference. When seeking a therapeutic massage to ease pain and improve function following a minor injury, the general rule of thumb is to wait 72 hours after the incident, or until any redness, swelling, or heat have dissipated.
For a more serious incident, the post-injury massage shouldn’t come until after seeking medical attention and being cleared by the health practitioner to receive massage. Typically, people start getting massage while they are in or ending physical therapy. Massage can greatly complement the work done in a PT’s office to rehab after an injury, as it targets the same structures and goals using a slightly different approach.
Many people find lymphatic massage helpful in the early days post-injury. It is a light pressure technique targeting the lymphatic vessels just under the skin. This system moves fluid (like swelling) and cellular waste (like damaged material from an injury site) through the lymph nodes for processing and then out of the body. After the first couple of days have passed, lymphatic massage may be used along with regular massage or by itself to help speed healing.
People use post-injury massage to address pain, scar tissue, stiffness, weakness, swelling and diminished flexibility. It can help improve mood, ease stress, and give a sense of healing and connection to the body. Many people say that massage is that “extra something” that makes a difference in their recovery.
At Nimbus we have taken part in many people’s healing efforts. We have seen people recovering from broken bones, sprains, pulled muscles, falls, accidents, sporting injuries, workplace mishaps… the list goes on. We’d love to hear your story of how massage has made a difference in your recovery.