Why Choose Massage Therapy for MVA Injuries?

By Beau Miakinkoff, LMT, LMP, CA, IAC

Wondering why you should seek massage therapy for your MVA injuries? After sustaining injuries from a car accident, massage therapy can aid recovery by restoring balance to your autonomic nervous system. The relaxation techniques of Swedish massage can help reverse the shock and trauma that a vehicle collision can cause your nervous system as a whole. Massage therapy promotes circulation of blood and lymph, which reduces swelling and aids in “flushing” the injuries with nutrient-rich blood encouraging faster soft tissue recovery.

In addition, after the body is exposed to trauma the muscles splint.  This is a term used to describe how the injured muscles contract to protect themselves from further injury and to hold joints and other fragile body parts in stable positions to help prevent injury.  Even when the threat is no longer present, the body is often unable to release those muscles and they remain tight and tender. There are a variety of massage therapy techniques and modalities that can be remind the body that it is safe to let the muscles relax and encourage them to do so. Although massage can bring immediate relief, permanent pain-free healing usually requires a series of treatments in order to allow injured muscles to return to normal or as close as possible as to what the ROM was before the accident/injury.   As healing progresses, massage therapy will help release contracted muscles, maintain and improve range of motion, and help prevent the formation of scar tissue and muscle adhesions.

What should you expect from your clinical/medical massage therapy sessions? Typically, the goals of massage therapy in injury rehabilitation are to reduce stress, reduce pain and swelling, improve circulation, sand restore range of motion.

When should you seek massage therapy?  Immediately, as soon after a car accident as possible.  Which ever comes first is what I recommend.  Besides the primary relaxation benefits of massage as state above, it promotes circulation of both lymph and blood.  This helps with managing and reducing any swelling at injury sites. The sub-acute stage of these injuries can last a few days to a few weeks or even longer after the accident. Massage therapy has proven to be quite effective in maintaining and improving range of motion.  It has also been determined to be useful in preventing the formation of scar tissue and in breaking up any scar tissue that has formed along with any other myofascial adhesions. Later in your recovery, clinical/medical/orthopedic massage can address specific musculoskeletal injuries like whiplash, neck pain, back pain, headaches, shoulder sprains/strains, etc.

My auto accident massage treatments follow a protocol. Early in your treatment, I focus on addressing the effects of trauma, using relaxing techniques As soon as it is safe, I incorporate a variety of modalities to increase range of motion and prevent scar tissue and other myofascial adhesions from forming. Later in your recovery, I may add techniques designed to address strengthening specific musculoskeletal conditions like myofascial adhesions, muscle strains, ligament sprains, etc.

Everyone reacts to MVA injuries differently.  No two car accidents are the same just as no two people are the same. I always customize my treatments to your specific needs at the time you present for your massage therapy session. There are many factors that affect your recovery (i.e. the severity of the accident, the extent and nature of your injuries, your daily activities, your present limitations, your level of pain and tolerance at the time of your appointment, etc.) and I account for these factors in your care at each session.

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