Physiotherapy is a scientific approach to maintaining and improving health, and physical conditioning, with a focus on strengthening and stretching muscles and ligaments. Physiotherapy is also a crucial tool in preventive medicine.
Generally, physiotherapy involves the use of therapeutic exercise and physical manipulation. Deep tissue massage is often incorporated into physiotherapy treatment plans along with other techniques such as acupuncture, in order to increase the effectiveness of treatment.
Deep tissue massage
Deep tissue massage physically manipulates muscle and other soft tissue using a range of techniques including kneading, tapping, vibrations, and tapping on areas of pain or tightness. However deep tissue massage does differ from other forms of massage in its techniques and targets, consequently it feels very different to other forms of massage.
Unlike say, Swedish massage, deep tissue massage isn’t always relaxing. It requires greater pressure, and can be initially uncomfortable, if not downright painful – but the reward for this pain is greater physical and mental benefits.
Benefits of deep tissue massage
Greater pressure allows the massage therapist to target the deepest layers of muscle and tendons, which are not reached by other forms of massage. The benefits of deep tissue massage include:
Deep tissue massage and physiotherapy
Deep tissue massage complements other forms of physiotherapy. It can be utilized before, during or after other treatments in order to aid in recovery or as a way to prep patients for more dynamic treatments which require the flexibility and mobility that deep tissue massage can provide. Ask your physiotherapist about the most effective way to incorporate deep tissue massage into your physiotherapy routine.
Deep tissue massage before physiotherapy or exercise
Deep tissue massage works to increase mobility, which increases the patient’s ability to perform the movements, stretches and exercises required for more dynamic physiotherapy sessions. Generally, you would not want a deep tissue massage right before exercising since it will leave you sore and stiff in the short term. Once the immediate soreness subsides you’ll experience the pain relief, flexibility and mobility needed to engage in physiotherapist-directed exercise.
After physiotherapy or exercise
As you stretch and strengthen your muscles with exercise you may cause your muscles to begin to tighten. Stretching is recommended after strenuous exercise, but traditional stretching does not reach deep into the muscles. Deep tissue massage manipulates the muscle fibers, stretching them in all directions.
Stretching, both traditional and through deep tissue massage, not only increases range of motion but it also facilitates muscle growth by stretching the fascia which is a fibrous membrane which acts as a sort of muscle sheath. By doing so deep tissue massage, in conjunction with exercise will build muscle faster, making it an ideal treatment for athletes.
Joint manipulation is one of the most popular methods of providing greater range of motion (ROM) and pain relief to patients. Also sometimes referred to as ‘manual therapy,’ joint manipulation uses a variety of techniques to provide benefits to patients.
What are the benefits of joint manipulation?
Joint manipulation is a technique utilized by healthcare and physiotherapy professionals to reduce pain and increase range of motion while working in conjunction with other treatment techniques to improve a patient’s overall quality of life.
Causes of joint dysfunction
Joint dysfunction can be caused by a number of issues including:
Effects of joint manipulation
Joint manipulation has many clinically proven effects which include:
Side effects of joint manipulation
Joint manipulation is considered a safe procedure with very minor side effects which include headache, mild radiating pain, and local discomfort. There are some risks associated with joint manipulation performed on the spine. These include stroke, spinal injury, herniated disks, and fractures in the ribs or vertebra, and other related issues. That is why it is important to always use certified professionals who have experience with joint manipulation.
Whenever possible, look for a physiotherapist with an FCAMPT designation, which means they are Fellows of the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Physiotherapy. This designation is the highest qualification that a physiotherapist can achieve and is recognized around the world. Only a select few hold the FCAMPT designation — Meadowlands Physiotherapy is one of Ancaster's only physiotherapy clinics with FCAMPT designated physiotherapists. Our highly trained physiotherapists will be able to assess your condition and overall health to determine whether or not joint manipulation would be beneficial to you.
How does joint manipulation work?
Joint manipulation is generally used as part of a broader physiotherapy plan which includes a range of other techniques in addition to joint manipulation. Your physiotherapist will consult with you to determine whether joint manipulation is the right treatment for you.
Undergoing joint manipulation is initially much like undergoing massage. In many cases your physiotherapist will ask you to lie on a massage table where they will precisely apply pressure through their hands to manipulate your joints.
By manipulating the joint, the pressure and movement will stretch and realign muscle, ligament, scar tissue, and the joint capsule itself. Joint manipulation is also an effective treatment to reduce pain as well.
Is joint manipulation right for me?
Joint manipulation can benefit all joints from your spine to your toes, but only your doctor or physiotherapist can determine if it is right for you either on its own or as part of a broader physiotherapy strategy.
As a PTA and Trained STOTT Pilates® Instructor, Kaitlin Chastney sees a lot of Physiotherapy clients who are nearing the end of the manual therapy component of their treatment and starting the progression to an exercise program such as Pilates. “With having both Mat and Reformer Pilates background I wanted to enhance my skills to become more competent when working with specific injuries or populations,” Chastney explains. “The ISP course has helped me expand my knowledge of exercises and equipment to modify and target the needs of specific clients.” The ISP course has taught Chastney how to retrain client’s biomechanical patterns which have been compromised from an injury.
About the Injury and Special Population Course
The Injuries and Special Population (ISP) course focuses on ‘common’ injuries for all regions of the body, as well as treating the needs of specific populations, including:
The ISP course focuses on specific exercises that can be used as a guideline for these individuals.
Based on understanding the role of a Pilates Instructor within the rehab process, the ISP course helps certified Pilates instructors design a personalized Pilates program that is safe for specific injuries and specialized populations. The course teaches instructors how to progress and modify exercises for each individual to promote healing.
The course material goes in-depth in learning the body’s biomechanics and potential negative impacts to movement patterns caused by injuries or changes within special populations, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of joint stability and muscle patterning to ensure proper functioning.
Meadowlands Physiotherapy and Absolute Pilates would like to congratulate Kaitlin Chastney (H.B. Phys. Ed., OTA & PTA. Trained STOTT Pilates® Instructor) on the completion of the ISP course. Her hard work and dedication will allow her to better serve our clients by offering them an individualized approach to care and recovery.