Orthopedic massage involves therapeutic assessment, manipulation and movement of loco-motor soft tissue, bones, and joints to facilitate balance to the body/mind as a whole. The primary objectives are to assist in the reduction of pain and dysfunction, restore structural balance in the muscle groups throughout the body, and decompress arthritic or painful joints.
The brain and nervous system are programmed to find the easiest and most comfortable means of locomotion. When we have injured musculature or dysfunctional joints, the nervous system automatically changes the coordinated movement patterns in order to keep us moving in the most “efficient” means possible. Though we may or may not be aware of these changes in the patterns of movement in ourselves, for better or worse the body adapts. While most massage professionals are trained to only address the soft tissues (musculature) of the body and avoid bones and joints, the therapist practicing orthopedic massage realizes the value of addressing not only the soft tissues, but also the bones, joints and movement patterns through a wide array of technique and multidimensional approach. Often times, arthritic, painful, misaligned, or dysfunctional joints will themselves cause muscle spasms, knots, and other chronic or acute symptoms. In these cases, by alleviating the joint condition(s), related muscle dysfunction are allowed to relax and unwind.
It is known that there is no one right way to move; however, as the body goes through compensatory changes, our whole self can experience loss of potential as the brain decides which pieces and parts it needs to move more whilst other parts are protected or hindered. As time goes on and these patterns steep deeper into self, often times the changes will result in pain seemingly unrelated to the “original pain”, as everything else in the body around the functional loss begins to overwork to make up for the dysfunction elsewhere. For these reasons and many more, it is often necessary to incorporate movement therapy to assist the brain and nervous system in re-coordinating these patterns, once change has been facilitated in soft tissues, bones, and joints. Basic movement retraining, such as neuromuscular therapy or positional release, are incorporated into your orthopedic massage sessions.
It is within this delicate dance our highly trained, orthopedic massage therapist shine by utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach which can be vital in treating a wider array of conditions, even for one individual. No one therapy fits all, and it is often a combination of modalities that fits best.