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Muscle Sprains and Strains and Massage Therapy

Ankle Sprain All of us have experienced muscular sprains and/or strains at some point in our lives. I know I have when I feel stiff getting up from a chair, or when my hamstrings burn from lifting too many heavy objects, or when my quads and back muscles feel stiff from too many hours doing yardwork. Sprains oftentimes generate inflammation, swelling, and subsequently pain and discomfort. Strains generate pain, stiffness, and loss of range of motion.

Massage therapy provides an effective methodology for addressing the concerns of strains and sprains. Here is why. When sprains bring inflammation, heat, redness, and swelling, it might be from micro tears in the regional tissues. Our immune system rises to the signals and sends in the antibody troops to fight for us and repair the damage. Manual lymph drainage therapy can alleviate much of the swelling, move out debris, and thus reduce discomfort and pain accelerating healing time. But something else is also occurring.

When we suffer an injury to a specific site; for example, an ankle sprain from a fall, the muscles involved may be injured in such a way as to not function at their optimal best or at all, and may require full resting. Other associated or surrounding muscles must take up the task of keeping us moving, erect, and functional. These muscles become the “guardians” and work overtime doing not only their prescribed function, but taking on remedial efforts for the injured neighbor musculature. If the injury site is not easily or quickly healed, our “guardians” become overworked, and then they become strained. Now we have the beginnings of postural misalignment as our body and its innate wisdom compensates for its situation. When this becomes chronic, postural deviations can occur causing pain and strain and become an adaptive mechanism in associated structures of the body.

I believe it is vitally important for people to understand not only what is physically occurring when injury happens, but also what is taking place biochemically as the body communicates its needs to all the healing centers within us. The body is magnificent in its ability to heal itself when provided with proper nutrition, rest, and movement supporting healing structures. When we understand how our body systems work synergistically on all levels, physically, biochemically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, we can find convenient ways to support ourselves that will not intrude on our lifestyles. Receiving regular massage therapy sessions keeps us at our optimal best, addresses guardian stresses, removes lymph fluids more rapidly, and supports the biochemistry of the body with appropriate delivery of nutrients directed to the specific needs of our organ systems, our nervous system, and our muscle and bone systems for healing.

Krystle Shapiro, LMT, MSHN owns NewTritionally Yours! and Touchstone Therapeutic Massage offering nutrition education classes and medical massage therapy. Shecan be reached at 208/290-6760.

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