Taking care of your health should be a priority, especially when you’re dealing with the stress of work, school, and family obligations. Oftentimes, people tend to overlook the fact that built up stress can cause back and neck pain, insomnia, anxiety, and other ailments. However, massage goes beyond the regular appointment that you can make for yourself to treat these things, it also serves as a rehabilitation technique for physical therapists.
Despite physical therapy and massage therapy’s various commonalities, they have many factors that distinguish them apart. While both physical therapists and massage therapists employ similar exercises to alleviate suffering, their strategies are different to improve healing.
For physical therapists, they work with individuals who have experienced some type of traumatic injury, recovered from a major surgery, or who suffer from a degenerative condition. A physical therapist’s objective is to assist the individual in recovery and improve his or her ability to live a normal life. They achieve this through exercises and devices that enhance mobility function
A Physical Therapist’s Typical Duties
- Formulate a plan that encourages a smooth road to recovery.
- Aid the patient in following his physical therapy plan safely and effectively.
- Train the patient as well as the patient’s caregivers on how to properly use any physical therapy device or equipment.
Physical therapists will work in various different settings such as ambulatory care clinics such as those being treated on an outpatient basis. Other locations a physical therapist will assist in are eldercare facilities and private hospitals.
Physical therapists are also distinguished by the knowledge they must require in order to be licensed. Their curriculum requires them to recognize diseases and to provide treatment plans of impairment and disability. Several physical therapists also specialize in a particular field such as orthopedics, cardiopulmonary, pediatrics, neurology, etc.
Part of the time, massage therapy is used as a tool inclusive to the physical therapist’s plan of recovery for the patient. These massage therapy techniques can include: techniques with muscle energy, myofascial release, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), as well as other techniques that manipulate the soft tissue.
The combination of massage therapy integrated with the skills of a physical therapist are quite beneficial. Muscles are being exerted which create a pushing and pulling force that help facilitate movement. The tone of muscle is set by the nervous system and therefore need to be stimulated in order to generate strength and power. Conversely, if the muscle is given too much muscle tone, the muscle is overly excited and loses its ability to relax because it’s in constant contraction.
In short, there are several benefits to using the art and technique of massage therapy in combination with physical rehabilitation. It helps to give optimal results towards restoring strength in an individual’s movement, flexibility, and balance. Massage therapy also serves to prevent injury when it is combined with fine-tuned flexibility and exercise programs.
Overtime, massage therapy practices have increased in the field of physical therapy and research has provided evidence that it serves as a beneficial integrated treatment.