WHY PHYSICAL TESTINGS AND ORTHOPEDIC ASSESSMENTS ARE CRUCIAL

20 May 2020

I can relate to my personal experience as a client for massage therapy. Apparently, many of us experienced the feeling of urgency and haste to get onto the massage table. However, as a professional massage therapist, I understand the reason and advantage of delayed gratification. Certainly, you may ask why is that?

Did you know the whole package and benefit of massage therapy does not rest on manual manipulations alone? Instead, it centres on keen observation and listening skills just as pivotal is robust assessments, reliable findings and clinical reasoning. Last but not least, data gathering and medical history. Those components determine the direction of treatment and their outcomes.

Behind the scene of a treatment session.

Let me shine a light on a previous case where a client complained of pain in the groin. They reported no pain with weight-bearing and standing on their feet. However, all movements which require lifting their leg provoked pain. As usual, this client belongs to the general pool of massage clients. One more word and breath stood too much in the way of getting onto the massage table!

I explained conducting testings and assessments would not take long. Besides, it brings us closer to the root of the problem and resolving the issue. Alternatively, we could proceed straight into massage without any guarantee of alleviating pain or tracing the cause. Which option would you have chosen if the shoe was on the other foot?

This client tested positive to a degenerative condition at the hip joint. That explains their perceived pain at the groin. Consequently, there are three critical points worth noting. (1) Location and origin of pain traced through testings and assessments (2) Massage treatments were not administered to the site of perceived pain (3) Pain sensations are not limited to muscles alone.

Working in with other health professionals.

I suspected a hip replacement was inevitable. Therefore, I advised consulting the GP for a diagnosis and treatment plans. Meanwhile, I administered massages to the surrounding tissues at the hip – joint as the client found them helpful in aiding movements. Correspondently, the results from their X-Ray confirmed my findings. So then the client elected for surgery. Furthermore, post-surgery massages and scar tissue release therapy assisted with their successful rehabilitation.

Embracing a new perspective in massage therapy.

Efficient massage therapists use testings and assessments tools to achieve strong outcomes. It is part and parcel of high-quality massage treatments. These therapists are in a disposition to initiate visual clinical assessments ahead of the initial handshake. Hence, there is no reason to short-change yourself of a massage therapist’s expertise (aligned with their scope of practice) when in treatment.

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