Physical Therapy or Massage Therapy? Which is Better For You?
healing hands for various injuries of the tendons, ligaments or muscles has
become standard prescription practice for physicians.
the current scientific studies support the extensive use of either physical
therapy or massage therapy as alternative ways to help heal faster, with less
pain and create better long term health.
there have been growing similarities between the two disciplines that causes
confusion as to when you need which one. In order to help you understand their
differences and when to use them this article will help you decide.
therapy or often called physiotherapy is a medical profession aimed at
increasing mobility, function and health of patients threatened by age, injury,
disease, or environmental factors. Its aim is to develop, maintain and restore
maximum movement before it is impaired.
often includes massage techniques as a tool as well as techniques that include physical
soft tissue manipulation that are less time consuming. This usually requires
physical movements of muscles and joints, similar to physical exercises, but
meant to specifically work the affected joints, tendons, ligaments or muscle
groups as defined during a formal patient history work up and diagnosis.
require more education than massage therapists, with a minimum of a bachelor
degree in a similar field and a specific master’s program of physical therapy.
There are also doctorate programs for PTs. PTs can also specialize in different
fields of care like a physician including: geriatric, sports, neurology,
orthopedics, pediatrics and others.
is usually prescribed by an attending family physician, hospital or clinic to
treat moderate to severe injuries or mobility and function issues.
therapy is actually the parent discipline of physical therapy as massage
therapy has been around for millennia, whereas PT in comparison is a relatively
new field of medical practice.
therapy is the application of muscle manipulation and soft tissue massage in
order to aid healing, reduce pain and increase function of minor to severe
injuries to tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Clinical or medical massage
therapy deal specifically with similar injuries as PTs and generally is a
co-prescribed treatment alongside PT.
purpose of medical massage is a site specific treatment to deal with a specific
issue or injury, unlike relaxation massage. It is used to stretch muscles, aid
in removal of scar tissue and increase healing times. Massage therapy used with
physical therapy has been proven to speed healing of soft tissue and joint
injuries. MTs require education through a formal massage program that is
accredited and state licensed, including continuing education which includes
specialization in medical or clinical massage.
generally agreed principle is now to prescribe both PT and MT when dealing with
soft tissue, joint, ligament or tendon damage. PT focuses on mobility, movement
and function, while MT focuses on pain reduction, scar tissue removal, mobility
and as an aid in healing.
This article has been contributed by the team at The Massage Therapy Schools Information, a career coaching portal dedicated to helping aspiring massage therapists establish a successful career in massage. For more information on massage therapy, please visit their website.