Many individuals experience limited or reduced mobility or flexibility for a number of reasons. Whether it be from an underlying condition such as arthritis or because of the natural ageing process and lack of activity leading to stiffness and joint pain, a lack of mobility and an increased difficulty in performing daily activities from a loss of full range of motion can lead to both physical and mental anguish and frustration. Remedial massage helps to both relieve tight muscles and increase joint mobility and flexibility in a number of different ways.
One of the primary benefits of Remedial massage is improved circulation by stretching and decreasing the tension in the muscle tissue which leaves more room for the blood vessels to expand, thus increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients into the tissues and removal of waste products. This speeds up recovery time of any damaged tissue and optimizes functionality leading to better mobility. Additionally, increased blood flow levels and circulation aids those with lymphatic drainage problems or cold extremities leading to better overall performance and more freely moveable joints.
Over time, an individual may experience pinched nerves or large knots in their muscles. A knot typically occurs after performing a particular task for hours at a time on a regular basis (such as sitting at a desk). While knots are painful, the pinched nerve can become particularly excruciating and prevent many kinds of motions. For someone who is unable to turn their neck or have difficulty standing up straight based on the pain they feel, a massage can be all that is needed. A massage helps to work out the knot and soften the muscle, reducing the pain. This also helps ease the tension put on the nerves, allowing the pinched nerved to decompress and relieve the tension placed on it. Depending on the severity of the knot or nerve, it might take a few different sessions to fully remove the pain and tension, but after one session, patients should experience an almost immediate reduction in their pain levels and a boost in mobility.
Flexibility is a huge improvement stemmed from massage therapy. While this doesn't make up completely for daily stretching, it should allow for a higher degree of flexibility in the days and weeks following a treatment. This greater flexibility makes it more comfortable to move about, particularly for those individuals suffering from stiffness-related mobility problems. Although flexibility may not prove extremely beneficial for those with arthritis and similar medical problems, and those who are naturally already hypermobile, a greater level of flexibility is what patients ultimately need when dealing with tightness in their body.
One of our recommendations we give to our clients to assist with their health and wellbeing is to incorporate daily stretching into their routine. Not only does this help with mobility, if people stretched daily they would have so much more flexibility and make them more resilient to strain and injury. Regular stretching helps to maintain and increase mobility which many people may feel is no longer possible, Like exercise, stretching takes work but the benefits can be noticed quickly and are absolutely worth it.
Written By: Doug Slessor, Taringa Senior Remedial Therapist