25 Oct 2006
During repair of a muscular strain, lack of movement can decrease collagen production in the fascia and create atrophy. Massage to the area can help to increase circulation to the area, reduce the formation of adhesions, and aid in the proper alignment of the healing collagen fibers.
Massage should not release tissues that are guarding the area during the acute phases of healing. The guarding is there to protect the area and to bring the ruptured ends closer together for repair. After the acute phase of healing is complete, it is important to utilize massage techniques that promote mobile scar tissue formation, increase joint mobility, and reduce unnecessary edema. These techniques can include friction massage, myofascial massage, and connective tissue massage.
A typical massage session after the subacute phase should include:
· Cross fiber massage to reduce adhesions
o Amount of pressure and drag should progressively increase along with healing
· Lymphatic drainage massage to reduce swelling
· Management of developing compensation patterns to prevent future injuries
· Gradual release of guarding muscles
· Passive and resisted ROM to encourage flexibility and to realign connective tissue fibers
- Fritz, S. Sports and Exercise Massage Comprehensive Care in Athletics, Fitness, & Rehabilitation. St. Louis: Mosby Inc. 2005.
- Hendrickson, T. Massage for Orthopedic Conditions. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2003.