Spinal cord injury (SCI) patients face a number of challenges on the road to recovery and rehabilitation. For some, it can mean making significant changes to the way they have previously lived their lives.
Having a regular massage following a spinal cord injury has been proven to provide a number of benefits to patients. Massage is not just the province of spa rooms and gentle stress relief. It’s a therapy that can help improve circulation, impact positively on muscle tone, improve skin elasticity, and even relieve pain.
Massage uses a series of strokes, presses, taps and kneading to achieve the required effect. There are a range of different techniques and how much benefit you get will depend on the type and level of severity of your spinal cord injury as well as the form of massage you choose.
The benefits of massage for spinal cord injury patients range from simple relaxation and stress-busting to aiding physical improvements and even helping to improve mental health.
There are various types of massage and those with spinal cord injuries need to understand the associated risks of each, as well as their benefits.
The individual will need to make the distinction between massage techniques that provide relaxation and those that are more intensive. Deep tissue massage generally requires more force and is focused on releasing chronic muscle tension. This may not be suitable for those with certain types of spinal cord injury, particularly if it is likely to aggravate inflammation and make things worse.
There are a number of risks that can be associated with deep tissue massage and other more invasive techniques.
Because of the potential risks involved in having a deep tissue massage, it’s always important to consult with a medical professional before proceeding with this type of therapy. Massage can be effective for many spinal cord injury patients, but it’s not suitable for everyone.
Massage is a useful therapeutic tool those with spinal cord injuries can use to maintain good health and assist in recovery. However, it’s important to get the right medical advice and to take time to find someone who has experience of working with SCI patients.
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