Sprains and strains are common, not only in athletes, but also in the everyday person. A sprain is defined as a stretch or tear of a ligament. A strain, on the other hand, is defined as an injury to a muscle or tendon. Sprains can result from a fall, a sudden twist or a blow to the body that forces a joint out of place, while a strain can happen from twisting or pulling a muscle or tendon.
Instinctively, when a person experiences a sprain or a strain, first aid skills tend to take over or they may immediately head to the emergency room. Things like taking the pressure off the joint, raising the joint and applying ice to alleviate swelling and inflammation are all great places to start and many times this is exactly what happens in the emergency room. Icing a sprain or strain is only good for the first 48 to 72 hours, as it will help decrease swelling. However, prolonged use of ice may impair movement and also interfere with the healing process because it constricts the tissues and impedes blood flow. But there are other possible solutions to helping a sprain or strain heal, and one of these is to get a massage.
Both sprains and strains have different levels of severity numbered from one to three. The levels are defined by the severity of the injury. So the level assigned to the injury can help determine how much care and what types of therapy might be appropriate for treating the sprain or strain. To determine the level of the injury, specific tests need to be performed. For sprains, the passive range of motion is what determines the severity level. For strains, the resisted range of motion is used to determine the severity. Regardless of the level of severity, massage therapy can still be beneficial.
Usually, the best form of massage to treat sprains and strains is provided by someone who does sports massage. Sports massage is derived from the Swedish massage technique. This type of massage focuses on muscles that have experienced a large degree of use and stress. So not only is sports massage good for athletes, it is also good for people who suffer from repetitive motion strains.
Gentle massage can help heal sprains and strains by reducing pain. Massage therapy increases blood flow, which speeds up the recovery and rehabilitation process. Blood flow into the muscles is vital in creating new tissue. A massage can also help relieve the pain from spasms and cramps that can occur after a strain or sprain.
Massage can be a wonderful way to speed up recovery from sprains and strains. If you are an athlete or even a weekend warrior who ends up feeling pain or experiencing some sort of injury, it is highly recommended to get massage therapy. Ask me to find out more about how massage can help you recover today!