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What is the difference between Orthopaedic Massage and Remedial Massage?

Our profession gets asked, “What is the difference between Orthopaedic Massage and Remedial Massage?” While the two modalities share some similarities there are distinct differences that separate what they are and what to expect. The confusion lies in the fact that massage is a technique an Orthopaedic massage expert will use regularly. An Orthopaedic massage expert will use massage and myofascial release techniques however it is only one aspect of their toolkit at their disposal.

What is Orthopaedic Massage?

Orthopaedic massage experts assess, diagnose and treat myofascial pain, injury and dysfunction affecting movement and mobility. Orthopaedic Massage is clinically applied in the preventative, corrective and rehabilitative phases of therapy to restore and maintain the normal integrity of the soft tissue structure of muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia of the human body. Being a dynamic soft tissue specialist with the ability to assess a Orthopaedic massage expert can treat a range of conditions from sporting injuries like shin splints, iliotibial band syndrome, occupational injuries, postural issues and dysfunction, acute and chronic conditions affecting function and mobility including neck and lower back pain, bulging disc, facet joint irritation, chronic overuse injuries like RSI, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, shoulder injuries like shoulder impingement, rotator cuff tendonitis, bicep tendonitis, muscles strains and tears, tension headaches and migraines, rehabilitation from surgery and arthritis related pain and stiffness.

What to Expect from an Initial Orthopaedic Massage Consultation

On your first visit your Orthopaedic massage expert will go through a detailed medical history, explaining imaging reports, asking questions of past injuries, exercise routine and occupational aggravating factors, perform a physical examination, range of motion testing, orthopaedic testing if necessary and a postural assessment to gain an overall picture of the pain presentation. This clinical approach allows the Orthopaedic massage expert to uncover the underlying issues and identify a treatment program specifically tailored for the client for optimal results and their personal needs.

These clinical skills and approach are similar to other physical therapies like Osteopaths and Physiotherapists and are what distinguish Orthopaedic Massage from Remedial Massage Therapists. Having undertaken extensive training at university with a Bachelor of Health Science a Clinical Orthopaedic massage expert has a deeper understanding of anatomy and physiology which is evidence-based to identify what the problem is whilst still being hands-on in terms of physical treatment.Specialities include frozen shoulder and neck and shoulder dysfunctions plus migraines and headaches.

What Techniques do Orthopaedic massage experts Use?

Releasing myofascial trigger points (otherwise known as knots) restores length to the muscle taking pressure of the surrounding joints, allowing for increased mobility, function and a decrease in pain. As well as soft tissue manipulation an Orthopaedic massage expert uses a range of other therapies to target your specific areas:

  • Dry-Needling – Medical Acupuncture
  • PNF stretching
  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Myofascial Cupping
  • Muscle energy techniques (METS)
  • Myofascial Hot Stone therapy
  • Sports Taping
  • Corrective exercises
  • Joint Mobilisation
  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
  • Corrective exercises to stretch and strengthen

If you are unsure if Orthopaedic Massage can help you or your specific issue give us a call or email. Orthopaedic massage can be used solely or with other therapies. If you have tried other therapies before and wanting to know how Orthopaedic massage can complement with other treatments like Physiotherapy, Osteopathy or Chiropractic we can tailor a treatment program to suit you and help you on your way to pain-free mobility and function.

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