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What are Indications of therapy massage in Physiotherapy?

What are Indications of therapy massage in Physiotherapy?

Published by Programme B

Soft tissue manipulation is a universal technique that is easily applied and available for therapy, hygienic or sports purposes. Massage is essential in physiotherapy to relieve or reduce pain and therefore improve the patient’s quality of life. In addition to its great benefits, massage allows the patient to establish a climate of trust towards their physiotherapist, helping to perform an efficient treatment in a relaxed environment.

What is the therapy massage?

It consists of a series of movements executed by the therapist’s hands on the patient’s body surface. In other words, it is the manipulation of soft tissues whose primary purpose is to relieve discomfort in different parts of the body, caused by various factors such as trauma, bad postures, stress, among others. The word massage can be derived from any word: from the Arabic MASS which means to play gently, rub gently; from the Greek MASSEIN which means to knead, rub or rub; from Hebrew MASHECH its meaning is to feel, to feel; and from the French MASSER whose purpose is to press, rub massage. We realize that in all words, their definitions do not differ much.

Physiological effects of therapy massage (depending on the type of manoeuvre)

A massage is a powerful tool for the benefit of the patient’s psychophysiological complex. Here are the generally positive effects of the massage application:

Mechanical action on tissues

Warm-up, stimulate and develop the muscles

Stimulate or calm the nervous system (allergic effect)

Distend and relax muscles

Improve adhesions, make tissues more flexible

Improve circulation, eliminate organic exudates

It has a reflex action on the nervous system

Improve psychological well-being

Indications of therapy massage

Massage and its variations, is probably one of the most potent therapy tools that have existed, is universal and useful to reduce or eliminate various conditions of the human body. The massage can act on the:

Musculoskeletal diseases

Rheumatic diseases (except acute phases)

Neurological diseases: peripheral (paralysis, spasticity) and central (stress, insomnia, psychic disorders, exhaustion)

Contraindications of therapy massage

Although it is a beautiful technique, it is essential to know when they cannot be applied to the patient, so as not to harm or worsen the patient’s health in cases of:

Acute illness

Acute inflammation

Sensitive period of trauma, sprains, bruises, joint effusions

Early phlebitis and vascular fragility

Open wounds

Skin infections


There is a great variety of massages that can be derived from each other or merged. Giving rise to massages such as Chinese, Shiatsu, Thai, Japanese, plantar reflexology, sports, children, cryotherapy, hydrotherapy, among others. The list is very long, and that is why this article explained the most common massages in the application of physiotherapy, but without diminishing the importance of the rest. The physiotherapist can be certified for any of the techniques according to his abilities, tastes, and objectives to achieve. The important thing is to ensure that the patient achieves their functional independence, relieves their discomforts and improves their quality of life.

Photo by Neemias Seara from Pexels