x-ray showing sprains strains fractures

Massage Therapy & Strains, Sprains & Fractures

What is a sprain?

A sprain means that you twist a joint, like your ankle, so hard that it causes pain and swelling, but it is not broken or dislocated.

What is a strain?

A strain occurs when a muscle is overstretched or torn resulting in pain and inflammation.  A strain can occur from overuse, fatigue or improper movement.

What is a fracture?

A fracture refers to a broken bone.

How Does Massage Therapy Help Sprains, Strains, and Fractures?

With sprains, strains, and fractures, massage is able to reduce swelling (if present), treat the muscles that surround the injury and those that are compensating for the injury. This means that you have less pain and lower risk of the injury resulting in long-term problems. And you will be able to return to your normal daily activities more quickly.  A 2015 study for lumbar sprain found improved recovery with a combination of acupuncture and massage therapy.  Another study found that 10 weeks of massage therapy five times per week can actually alter the structure of tendons in runners.  

Massage Therapy and Post-Fracture Recovery

Did you know that after you break a bone, massage therapy can help speed your recovery?

How Does Massage Therapy Help After a Fracture?

Massage therapy helps broken bones to heal faster by

  1. Increasing circulation. Massage therapy helps to manually move blood and lymphatic fluid. By improving the circulation of these nutrient and immune carrying fluids, they are delivered more efficiently to the tissues that need them to heal.
  2. Relieving swelling and inflammation. Massage therapy can help move fluids that cause swelling, relieving pain and pressure.
  3. Pain relief. Massage therapy helps relieve pain, which improves mood and that helps your immune system work better.
  4. Reduce muscle tightness.  Whenever you are injured, muscles tighten due to pain and stress and when you compensate for the injury.
  5. Increasing joint mobility and range of motion.

Other Natural Treatments for Sprains, Strains & Fractures

Acupuncture:  Acupuncture provides safe, effective pain relief and promotes healing.

Herbal Medicine:  Herbs can be used to safely reduce pain and swelling and encourage the immune system to function better to heal an injury. 

Nutrition:  Foods either suppress or enhance immune system function and inflammation.  Proper diet helps the body heal, strengthens bones and prevents future injuries.

Chiropractic Care: Sprains and strains can occur when joints are not properly aligned.  Chiropractors can help re-align the joints and reduce soft tissue swelling.

Massage Therapy for Strains, Sprains and Fractures Research

Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2015 May;35(5):453-7.
[Acute lumbar sprain treated with massage combined with acupuncture at different distal acupoints: a randomized controlled trial].
[Article in Chinese]
Cao Y, Wang Y.

In Vivo. 2015 May-Jun;29(3):365-9.
Massage may initiate tendon structural changes–a preliminary study.
Andrzejewski W1, Kassolik K1, Dziegiel P2, Pula B3, Ratajczak-Wielgomas K3, Jablonska K3, Kurpas D4, Halski T5, Kobierzycki C6, Podhorska-Okolow M3.