Orthopedic massage may be defined as therapeutic assessment, manipulation, and movement of the body’s soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and joint capsules) to reduce or eliminate chornic pain or injuries.

A broad spectrum of techniques and approaches are used to treat soft tissue dysfunction. As a comprehensive system, orthopedic massage is capable of integrating a wide variety of techniques in the treatment of soft tissue dysfunctional pain and injuries. It includes:
deep transverse friction
trigger point therapy
myofasccial release
cross fiber and muti-directional strokes
neuromuscular therapy (muscle energy techniques)
scar tissue mobilization

and neuromuscular re-education

The nature of each condition is considered by the practitioner to determine the most effective treatment. An example would be treating upper back and neck pain. Instead of immediately using deep tissue techniques on the trigger pain spots in the upper back, particularly the rhomboids, I will treat the anterior (front) neck and shoulders of the body. Why? So many clients are rotated forwarded in the shoulders due to poor posture and repetitive motions that make the muscles in the front of the body tight and contracted. These include: the pectoralis major/minor, subclavius, and subscapularius, while the opposing mucles, (such as rhomboids in the mid back area) become weakened and over stretched. This imbalance often causes the head to thwart forward, and wreaking havoc on the front (anterior) and back (posterior) neck muscles.

Very good results often occur when the therapist first addresses the treatment of the neck and front shoulders first, using myofascial, cross-fiber, and multi-directional techniques, allowing the cause factors of pain to improve and start releasing.

And when there is pain relief and range of motion improves, it makes retraining poor posture habits more effective.

Next time I’ll write how orthopedic massage can help with carpal tunnel syndrome, and how this technique has often improved that condition and thus saving people from needless surgery.