Category: Myofascial Release Therapy

Does massage therapy help for stroke rehabilitation?

A stroke is a serious medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted. (healthdirect.gov.au)

stroke-remedial-massage-tension-release-melbourne picture from Mayfield clinic

 

When a person suffers a stroke, they may experience levels of paralysis in almost any skeletal muscle; as a result, they can experience weakness, stiffness, problems with positioning, balance and posture, and resulting discomfort.

Stroke risk increases with age, but stroke in young people, including infants, children, adolescents and young adults, does happen. In general, however, most experts consider a young stroke age to be under 45. [1]

Massage therapy can augment other physical therapies (such as physiotherapy) for stroke patients to address symptoms.  Clients should consult with their treating doctors as to whether massage therapy is suitable in their circumstances.

It is very important that massage treatment starts as soon as feasible for a quick recovery.

In convalescence, it is necessary to stimulate not only the blood and lymphatic circulation, but also to act on the skin, subcutaneous cellular tissue and muscle mass.

Remedial and relaxation massage may benefit stroke patients in various ways:

  • Reduced stiffness/improved mobility and posture
  • Improved strength
  • Reduced pain and cramping
  • Improved limb circulation
  • Improved mood
  • Increased cellular exchange
  • Increased endorphins serotonin and dopamine
  • Increased tissue elasticity

Different techniques are used to address to each problem.

Specific techniques often used include:

Muscle Energy Technique (MET)

A form of osteopathic manipulative diagnosis and treatment in which the patient’s muscles are actively used on request, from a precisely controlled position, in a specific direction, and against a distinctly executed physician counterforce. [2]

Positional Release Technique (PRT)

A bodywork modality using passive positioning of bones and joints, intended to reset proprioceptors and establish a more functional level of tone and resistance.[3]

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)

This stretching technique utilized to improve muscle elasticity and range of muscle motion has been shown to have a positive effect on active and passive range of motions.[4]

Remedial massage techniques can be applied to problem areas to reduce stiffness and address contractions in specific muscles to improve range of movement.  This may assist with improved mobility and improve the patient’s posture.

The application of MET (an active technique that includes the participation of the client) and PNF may improve strength in weakened areas.

Massage to areas affected by stroke may reduce pain and cramping by improving flexibility and positioning.

The moment of its initiation and the type of massage to be used must be well regulated. If the intervention is premature, it will be more harmful than beneficial; if it is too soft and prolonged, it will cause or increase weakness of the muscle; if it is of great intensity, it will produce muscular fatigue, precisely what must be avoided.

Stroke patients may experience various symptoms in affected areas due to changes in circulation.  Massage may improve circulation and reduce these symptoms, such as limbs feeling cold.

Any sufferer of neuromotor condition can be benefit physically and psychologically with a remedial massage therapy, which may also assist with improving mood and overall energy levels.

[1] A study published in October 2012 in the journal Neurology

[2] Chaitow, Leon (2013). Muscle Energy Techniques + Videos. Elsevier Science Health Science Division, 2013

[3] Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology” (PDF). American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. April 2009. p. 28. Retrieved 25 August 2012.

[4] Funk et al., 2003; Lucas and Koslow, 1984; Wallin et al., 1985

carpal-tunnel-myotherapy-tension-release

Ergonomics And Massage Therapy – Melbourne Office Workers’ Best Defence Against Work-Related Injuries

Office workers spend an inordinate amount of their waking life at work, poring over documents, finishing reports, and chasing sales quotas. People would often think that office workers have it good, sitting all day in posh, air-conditioned work areas while those engaged in labour-intensive sectors like mining and construction have to deal with back-breaking work on a day to day basis.

That is why it often comes as a surprise that work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) have become prevalent even in the office setting. Among the injuries clustered under WMSDs are neck strain, shoulder tendinitis and bursitis, low back pain, hand and wrist tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow.

It is not uncommon for office workers to report symptoms ranging from simple discomfort and fatigue to pain, swelling, stiffness, numbness and tingling. Computer-related tasks, general office work and lifting and carrying are among the most common reasons pinpointed by those who are injured, necessitating various types of treatments including massage therapy. Melbourne business owners and office workers should know that this is not just about getting adequate rest.

The Science of Work

Both business owners and their workers want to achieve a boost in productivity, employee morale and work quality while reducing employee turnover, tardiness and absenteeism. But before you call in a business coach, a few tweaks in the work area can pay significant dividends. This is where office ergonomics plays a significant role.

The word ergonomics often gets thrown around when discussing design, from gadgets to furniture. But what is ergonomics? Ergonomics, put simply, is all about studying how people work. Among the factors studied here are a worker’s physical and mental capacities weighed against his or her limits in the context of the work environment. Office ergonomics is an area of specialisation that focuses on the office environment.

Ergonomics means adapting the tools, equipment and even work habits to the worker and not the other around. Here are a couple of useful tips to lessen the risk of injuries in the office.

  1. If your work entails talking on the phone while performing other tasks, invest in a headset so that you would not need to cradle the phone between your ear and shoulder. This will help reduce neck strain.
  2. Monitors should be placed at an arm’s length, slightly below eye-level.
  3. To prevent tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome, the keyboard and mouse should be within easy reach. The wrists should be kept straight while the arms should be held close to the body. The hands, on the other hand, should be placed just below elbow-level.
  4. Office tools that are frequently used like staplers, notepads and pens should be within easy reach to prevent straining.
  5. In selecting an office chair to purchase, opt for one that provides adequate support to the spinal curves. But choosing the right chair is just part of the equation. Office chairs should be positioned correctly to allow an office worker to keep his or her feet firmly planted on the floor while keeping the thighs at a 90° angle.
  6. Desks should have ample clearance at the bottom, allowing free movement of the knees and thighs. If the desk is too high, a remedy for this is to adjust chair height and the use of a stool or a stack of books to compensate. Conversely, if the desk is too low, the height can be adjusted in height through the use of blocks.
neck-shoulder-pain-remedial-massage-tension-release

Beat The Blues Away With Remedial Massage

In a report published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2008 entitled National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, the bureau estimated that about 3.2 million or one in five adult Australians will succumb to a mental illness any given year. Among the top mental illnesses included in the report are substance abuse, depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

In a related study conducted by the Department of Health and Ageing entitled People Living with Psychotic Illness 2010: Report on the Second Australian National Survey, it was revealed that individuals who experienced psychosis expected the following issues to follow in the next twelve months: financial issues, social isolation, unemployment and discrimination.

One accessible method to help relieve a person from stress and anxiety is getting a remedial massage. More than being a luxury, massage therapy offers several benefits. For one, it can help a person recover from soreness and tenseness felt in the muscles. It is also used to treat a variety of injuries including muscle atrophy, cramps, headaches, arthritis.

But apart from these benefits, regular massage therapy can be integrated into one’s mental hygiene regime. As the therapist kneads a person’s muscles, the nerve cell receptors are also activated, thus stimulating the release of endorphins, adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin which are associated with the feeling of happiness and wellbeing. At the same time, the presence of the stress-inducing hormone called cortisol is reduced. Regular massage treatment has also been found to have a direct effect on a person’s brain waves, particularly the alpha brain waves.

Apart from these, massage treatment is known to boost energy levels, creativity, self-esteem and the decrease of stress levels. People who suffer from stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, addiction and obsessiveness can benefit from getting massage therapy.

Do take note that massage therapy is not meant to replace treatment by a mental health professional. Rather, it can serve as a complement to such treatments. As such, it is important to find the right massage therapist. The therapist you choose should be properly trained, fully qualified, insured and accredited by a national association. It is equally helpful if the therapist has ties with the major private health funds especially if you want to avail of rebates. Finally, and probably most important of all, your therapist can tailor-fit a massage treatment to suit your individual needs.

Book an appointment now and experience relief both from your aches and pains as well as from stress and anxiety.

How To Make Back Pain Go Away

A sudden injury, a strenuous activity, or improper posture a lot of things can lead to back problems. When the pain sets in, you could be out of commission for days on end or simply have difficulty bending down. Whatever happens when you get back pains, it’s important not to instantly panic and think that the problem could mean something is terribly wrong with your health. Sometimes, the aches will go away in a few weeks. But you’ll immediately need to take action and prevent the pains from being chronic. Here are a few recommendations to treating back pains.

Take it easy and then sit or lie down in the most comfortable position. When you first experience back pain, don’t strain yourself further by moving things or lifting items. You can lie on your back, place a couple pillows under your legs and let the pain subside. When it does, going for a walk, without carrying anything in your hands, your feet pointing straight and your head up, is considered to be beneficial. When it doesn’t subside and you feel electrical pain shooting down your legs and you’ve got lower extremity numbness, get medical help from a specialist.

Practice good posture. Some back pains may have been building up for years because you might not have beensitting in the right position or brushing your teeth over the sink correctly. Poor posture, over many years, can put needless strain on your back. Having the right amount of curvature in the back will take the pressure off the nerves and consequently, relieve you of back pains.

Exercise will improve your flexibility and strengthen your core. Performing simple (and not strenuous) exercises and routines (like yoga) can sometimes reduce backaches. Increasing flexibility can place equal load throughout your body while strengthening abdominal muscles can reduce the strain on your lower back.

Get soothing therapies. Massage therapies create a number of benefits, one of which is treating back pains. Various soothing therapies have been recognised as legitimate support to alleviating lower back pain. A good massage will not only work out your muscle spasms but also improve your range of motion.

You can try deep tissue massage, which may be used for postural problems and chronically tight muscles. You can try acupressure, which uses common techniques like kneading and vibration to treat chronic back and neck pains. You can also ask your therapist specifically for back massage. Neuromuscular therapy, also known as trigger point therapy, has also been recognised as an effective treatment for lower back muscle strain.