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Most of us have suffered from a soft tissue injury at some time in our lives. Soft tissues are defined as the muscles, tendons, and ligaments throughout your body. An injury to one or more of those tissues can be caused by overuse, repetitive motion (as when demand over time exceeds the tissue’s ability to recover), or a single event, such as a collision or fall.

Soft tissue injuries can be some of the most painful and difficult to treat because we can’t see what is going on under the skin with the soft connective tissue, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. If someone is in a motor vehicle accident, for example, the body may be thrown forward, backward, and/or sideways. The resulting hyper extension or hyper flexion can cause micro tears of the neck tissues (as in whiplash), back, shoulder, or other areas. In response the body immediately switches into high gear, increasing circulation to the area to facilitate healing. Regardless of the mechanism of injury, the result is the same – swelling, instability, and PAIN. Acute or chronic pain in the neck, back, or other part of the body can make daily activities much more difficult, interfering with work, family, and social life.

Typically your physician will prescribe medication to reduce the pain and inflammation. If indicated he/she may recommend an x-ray to rule out other significant injuries, such as a broken bone. Treatment may also include physical therapy or referral to a specialist such as an orthopedic surgeon, neurologist, pain management physician, chiropractor, or other specialist.

A New Treatment Idea

Another treatment modality that has been around for many years but is being increasingly employed by the medical community as an effective injury recovery and pain management tool is Medical Massage. While its therapeutic benefits have been appreciated for thousands of years, many think of massage solely in the context of “spa” massage. Although enhancing health and wellbeing, spa massage (or more appropriately called a wellness massage) is very different than a medical massage. The differences between wellness massage and medical massage therapy relate to clinical approach. The following chart outlines the differences:

Medical Massage Therapy Wellness Massage
Requires a prescription and referral from a physician Does not require any prescription or order from a physician
Requires physician’s medical diagnosis and treatment plan Not required
Uses a specific technique to address a specific dysfunction or pathology Does not use specific technique for specific dysfunction
Needs detailed documentation and requires that initial evaluation and per treatment medical notes be completed. Progress notes written and given to referring physician Requires minimal documentation
Through advanced education the therapist has a higher level of competency and understanding Does not require higher level of competency
Insurance-based reimbursement Cash-based reimbursement

How Medical Massage Works

In Medical Massage, the therapist utilizes a variety of techniques to restore structural muscle balance. The goal is to lengthen shortened muscles, strengthen overstretched muscles, and realign the scar tissue. Although scar tissue is a normal part of the healing process, it can constrict muscles and impinge upon blood vessels and nerves at the injury site, a major cause of pain. Knowledgeable therapists are able to identify, isolate, and manipulate the affected muscles, and break up and realign scar tissue. Treatment results in a reduction in pain, increased circulation to the affected area, and improved flexibility and range of motion. The restored muscle balance minimizes strain at the injury site. This pain relief allows you to “get your life back!” Without pain, you can resume work, recreation, hobbies, or care-taking.

To maintain healthy soft tissue following treatment, therapists educate patients in self-care techniques. This empowers them to speed their recovery and quickly minimize and control any pain from future injuries.

Conditions Responding to Medical Massage

Some of the medical conditions that benefit from medical massage include: neck pain, whiplash, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff or other shoulder injuries, headaches, numbness and tingling, repetitive motion injuries, carpal tunnel, thoracic outlet syndrome, and sciatica or low back pain. Currently in the state of Illinois, medical massage is covered under automobile insurance and worker’s compensation. Medical Massage specialists are working diligently to get this treatment covered by all forms of medical insurance. Private pay is always available. Contact your health care provider today for a prescription referral.



Providing Professional Massage Therapy for:
 Barrington, North Barrington, South Barrington, Barrington Hills, Lake Barrington, Inverness, Deer Park, Cary, Fox River Grove, Palatine,
Lake Zurich, Algonguin, Crystal Lake, Lake In The Hills, Long Grove

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