Medical Massage For Chronic Pain or Injury


What is Medical Massage?

Medical massage is outcome-based massage, administered with the intent of improving specific conditions or pathologies the client presents with a physician’s diagnosis and after a thorough assessment/evaluation by the medical massage therapist. A wide variety of modalities are utilized to focus the treatment based on the diagnosed condition.

These Advanced disciplines include:

  • neuromuscular therapy
  • trigger point therapy
  • deep tissue therapy
  • CranioSacral Therapy (CST)
  • myofascial release
  • lymphatic drainage
  • massage for cancer patients
  • orthopedic massage

Please note that Carlton Massage Therapy does not require a physician’s diagnosis to perform these techniques.


Medical Massage vs. Relaxation Massage

Relaxation massage does have many medical benefits but should not be confused with medical massage unless it is prescribed for stress relief or hypertention. Until a specific symptom is treated with a specific set of procedures to bring about a specific outcome then massage it is not “medical massage”.


Medical Massage is useful in addressing:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Pain associated with bulged or injured spinal disks
  • Migraines/headaches
  • Pain associated with pregnancy
  • Constipation
  • Range of motion issues
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Back and Neck pain
  • Plantar fasciitis (involving pain in the foot)
  • Repetitive use injuries such as those listed and tennis elbow, Golfer’s elbow
  • TMJ
  • Pain associated with restricted fascia
  • Pain associated with postural imbalances
  • Muscle cramps
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Sports injuries
  • Work Injuries
  • Auto Injuries
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Injuries sustained in traumas such as falls or automobile accidents
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (numbness/tingling in hands/arms)

Benefits of Medical Massage:

Releases tight and sore muscles which can cause Ischemia
Ischemia is lack of blood supply to soft tissues, which causes hypersensitivity to the touch and allows for further injury to the tissues.

Helps relieve nerve compression or entrapment
Nerve compression is pressure on a nerve by soft tissue, cartilage or bone, which can contribute to muscle atrophy, referred pain, paresthesia, and conditions such as pseudo sciatica, piriformis syndrome, pseudo angina, and others.

Deactivates Myofascial Trigger Points
Trigger Points is areas of high neurological activity, which refer pain to other parts of the body. Research has shown, trigger points may be responsible for as much as 74% of everyday pain.

Decreases Pain And Inflammation
Massage can restore suppleness and strength to your muscles, improving their overall function. It’s the ideal treatment for releasing tension or muscles in spasm and helps to release toxins such as lactic acid (produced by muscle tissue during exercise).

Alleviates Stress and Improves Circulation
Proper circulation is vital to continued health. Your blood and lymph carry nourishment to the trillions of cells throughout your body and then carry away the waste to be eliminated from the cells. Massage encourages a better exchange of nutrients at the cellular level and more thorough detoxification. Remember, the future “you” is determined by how well your army of cells regenerate themselves, so this is indeed a critical part of remaining healthy. Massage has been practiced for thousands of years and is one of the earliest health treatments known to man. That is why it remains one of the best ways of dealing with everyday stress.

Aids in Digestion
Massage can improve digestive motility.

Increases Flexibility And Range Of Motion
By reducing hypertonicity and hypotonicity, the muscles allow for normal ranges of motion to be restored. This also reduces the forces being applied to the joint capsule and diminishes the potential for joint and disk degeneration.

Calms The Nervous System
The first sense to develop is your sense of touch. It’s not surprising when you consider that each square inch of your skin contains roughly 50 nerve endings. With as many as five million total touch receptors in your skin relaying messages on to your brain, your body’s initial response to massage is to relax and de-stimulate. Even a simple touch has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the heart rate. Touch can also signal the brain to produce endorphins, your body’s natural pain suppressors. The nervous system is your communication network, sending messages constantly that determine proper functioning throughout your body. Stress can affect the ability of the nervous system to do its job. The many nerve endings found in the skin and muscles are soothed by massage, and this contributes to keeping your internal lines of communication open and operational.

Improves Posture And Coordination

Medical Massage is cost effective
By assisting the client towards a quicker recovery from acute headaches, neck and back pain, skeletal muscular strains, sprains, etc. he or she is able to return to a normal productive life.

Medical Massage also helps to prevent future chronic pain conditions by effectively dealing with the cause of the problem and eliminating it. It is shown in scientific literature that over 80% of the pain is coming from soft tissue injuries, and over 74% is directly attributed to Trigger Points. Overall Medical Massage achieves results and substantial cost savings to the client, employer and to society. As the general public becomes more familiar with the role of the Medical Massage Therapist they will be better able to handle their everyday soft-tissue pains.