What can you do when a constant neck and shoulder pain lingers on for days?
For years Steve, one of our patients who sought help for this kind of pain, believed that massage therapy and physiotherapy were basically the same. He was interested in getting therapeutic massages, since he found they lowered his stress, relaxed his muscles, and always felt amazing. But he also thought it strange that he was never recommended to visit a physiotherapist. It wasn't until he had a spinal cord injury that needed special treatment that he appreciated the difference between these two techniques! He injured his back in a car accident and was in a lot of pain. He was in need of some therapy and when he came to us he saw a physiotherapist who helped him in ways he never thought possible! Since to Steve, massage therapy and physiotherapy were always the same, he was shocked by the ways they differed when he really needed it!
In this blog, I’ll explain Massage Therapy and Physiotherapy, and be your guide in what massage therapy and physiotherapy is and what they do.
In brief, your physiotherapist will assess any movement and functional problems. Then, they will put you on some exercise and rehab to do at home. In addition, they might use laser, ultrasound, intramuscular stimulation or shockwave therapy.
For massage therapy, your therapist will also perform an assessment. Massage therapists will use lotions, gentle stretching, joint mobilization and muscle energy techniques. Some will also offer hot stones, hydrotherapy and instrument assisted soft tissue treatments.
Now, let’s have a closer look at how you can benefit from massage therapy and when to visit a registered massage therapist, RMT or physical therapist to improve your health and well being.
What is Massage Therapy?
A Massage Therapist or an RMT’s expertise lies in offering rapid relief when you experience the onset of pain and discomfort and they do so by performing manual techniques, though not limited to this. Your massage therapist helps to reduce your pain and discomfort on the skin, muscles and ligaments.
Massage Therapy is a field that is growing rapidly and offers a unique path to health and wellness. . It involves the application of various massage techniques and modalities to promote and maintain your health and wellbeing and to prevent and to treat injury. The field of massage therapy encompasses a wide range of approaches to this end. It benefits people of all ages and backgrounds. It can help those who suffer from long-term pain and illness as well as those who simply want to enhance their level of wellness.
Massage Therapy is a great way to relieve stress and tension as massage helps to relax and to release the mind and body from the build-up of stress. Massage is a healthy activity that everyone can benefit from, even the giver of the massage. It is a way to express appreciation or love to a loved one and for a professional massage therapist, it is a rewarding contribution to a patient’s overall wellness.
What is Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapy, also known as Physical Therapy, works with the specifics of degrees and measurements of the injured site in respect to the lack of movement in the joint and muscle. You would begin with an Initial Assessment that determines your course of treatment.
A physiotherapist is a professional responsible for assessing and treating people with physical limitations and disabilities and helping them find ways to prevent and ease discomfort and pain.
Physiotherapy is a broad field that encompasses the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses and injuries that affect one's muscles, skeleton, and nervous system. For people suffering from illnesses such as cancer, traumatic injuries, and orthopedic problems, the physiotherapist can help prevent secondary conditions such as reduced mobility, fatigue, and pain.
Why is the difference important?
You might understand the importance of getting care either through massage therapy or physiotherapy, not so much in the difference but more the symbiotic nature. You can see them as two methods coming together and of providing relief and preventative measures to ensure optimal health. When it comes to your health, you always want to get the best treatment possible. This means that you should research any treatment you're interested in before you get it. You also want to choose a treatment that most closely suits your needs. This is why it's important to understand the difference between physiotherapy and massage therapy.
Today, more and more people are actively testing out different treatment modalities to help improve overall wellness. Perhaps you have also tried some of these examples:
Any new process you try to add flexibility needs time for your body to adapt, learn and adjust to the new demands. Knowing whose help to seek out, massage therapists and/or physiotherapists when you encounter pain due to common injuries such as shoulder pain, will enhance your chances of succeeding in your fitness and flexibility plan.
Massage therapists and sports physiotherapists can assist you by harnessing the power of your nervous system and boost your success through their guidance and application of the best techniques for your goals. Some of the many ways that sports physiotherapists can help with performance, including increasing your range of motion and strengthening it. Physiotherapy can treat many conditions including spinal injuries, hamstring injuries, shin splints, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many more. Your physiotherapist can explain how they can help so you don’t have to experience any further injury.
What to do next?
Now that you know the options you have with massage therapy and physiotherapy to deal with neck and shoulder pains, or other physical injuries, you can take action.