• Massage or Osteopathy?

    Massage or Osteopathy?

    Well That Depends

    Interesting question. Patients ask me if they should go for a massage.” Well, that depends.” I tell them, and here’s why.

    An Illustration

    Imagine that you injured your elbow. All the muscles around this joint will go into spasm as a way of immobilizing the joint. The body has its own intelligence and knows that this joint needs to be protected.

    The Bodies Reaction To Injury Creates Its Own Problem

    After some time the contracted muscles become sore. This is because a tense muscle tends to produce lactic acid, which increases muscle pain.

    So now, in addition to the joint pain, you also have some local muscle pain.  Massaging the area, (provided there is no inflammation) can release the muscle spasm, improve circulation and relieve the pain of the spasm. Then, people feel better – for now.

    But the body is smarter than that – it knows that there is an underlying injury to the elbow joint and before you know it, the muscle spasm returns. And here begins the endless cycle.

    The solution in this case is to treat the underlying injury and the whole problem goes away.

    So my advise is – if the problem is muscular in origin then massage can help, if it’s a joint problem or some deeper injury then osteopathy is recommended. Although this is a simplification of the issue and other factors come into play, the general principle applies.

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