A massage can often be used to treat scarring. Scars are formed when damage occurs to the body’s internal or external tissues. As part of the body’s natural healing process, a build-up of collagen fibres, fibrous connective tissues, occurs resulting in the formation of a scar. Scars have a different texture and appearance to the body’s natural tissues and can often restrict movement. As a scar can affect a person both physically and mentally, symptoms of stress, anxiety and pain can increase. A massage helps to decrease scarring by breaking down, loosening and realigning collagen fibres. Collagen fibres have less elasticity than the body’s natural tissues and are laid in a haphazard position across muscle fibres, which can increase restriction and pain. A massage increases the temperature of collagen fibres encouraging them to soften and loosen. Softened and loosened collagen fibres enable them to be realigned to match the position of the body’s natural muscle fibres and tissues. Loosening and realigning collagen fibres reduces restriction as well as decreasing the appearance of scars.
Stress is a common factor that increased post-surgery. Stress can occur both physically and mentally. Physical stress occurs within the body’s muscles after the damage caused by surgery resulting in muscle weakness and a build-up of tension. Mental stress increases due to the lack of movement and pain that occurs following surgery. A massage can help reduce stress post-surgery by increasing healing and encouraging relaxation both physically and mentally. A massage improves blood and lymph flow. Improving blood flow provides muscles and tissues with the essential oxygen and nutrients needed for the repair and reformation of damaged muscles and tissues. An improved lymph flow increases the removal of built-up metabolic wastes within a muscle that slow down the healing process. Increasing healing helps to increase muscle strength and reduces tension. Physical relaxation increases as pain and tension are relieved due to the increase in healing. A reduction in pain and tension increases relaxation and therefore reduces mental stress.
After surgery, a person can experience acute pain. Acute pain occurs due to the damage caused to the muscle fibres and tissues. Acute pain can include achy, sharp or shooting pains and can restrict movement and increase stress and tension. A massage reduces acute pain by improving recovery and relieving tension. Recovery can be poor due to a lack of nutrients available to tissues. The blood flow is what contains the oxygen and nutrients essential for improving recovery. A massage creates friction between the skin and fingers which encourages an increase in blood flow to the area. An increase in blood flow results in an increase in oxygen and nutrients. An increase in oxygen and nutrients speeds up the healing process, improves recovery and therefore reduces acute pain. Tension is caused when muscles tighten to prevent further damage from occurring. When blood flow is increased during a massage, the temperature of muscles also increases. Increasing the temperature of muscles encourages relaxation of muscle fibres. Relaxation of muscle fibres relieves tension and further reduces acute pain.
There are a range of physiological effects that occur during a massage after surgery. Some of the most common physiological effects that occur include:
There are a wide variety of benefits gained after receiving a massage post-surgery.
The benefits that are most commonly gained include:
A massage encourages an improvement in circulation after surgery. Blood and lymphatic circulation can both be increased through massage. Blood circulation increases when friction is created. When blood circulation is improved, healing is able to speed up due to an increase in resources and muscle tightness, tension and fatigue can be reduced due to an increase in muscle temperature. Increasing blood circulation through massage therefore relieves pain, increases healing and maintains healthy muscles. Lymphatic circulation increases when the stimulation of the lymphatic system occurs. The lymphatic system is responsible for removing waste products and toxins from the body that contribute to muscular tension and swelling. Increasing the lymphatic flow encourages a rise in the removal of waste products and toxins. A rise in the removal of waste products and toxins relieves tension, reduces swelling and further maintains healthy muscles.
A massage after surgery can help improve recovery. Surgery has many negative effects including pain, scarring and swelling that can slow down or prevent recovery. A massage helps to improve recovery by encouraging an increase in blood flow. During a massage, a range of techniques are used to create friction between the skin and fingers. The creation of friction is used to encourage an increase in blood flow. Blood flow contains the necessary nutrients needed for the repair and regeneration of damaged muscle fibres and tissues. Increasing blood flow encourages an increase in healing, helping to reduce recovery time and relieve pain. An increase in blood flow also helps to reduce tension by encouraging the relaxation of tense and tightened muscles. Relieving tension further decreases pain and improves recovery.
After surgery, the range of movement can be poor for a variety of reasons. Swelling, pain, scarring and tension are a few of the factors that contribute to a decrease in movement. A massage helps to increase range of movement by reducing swelling and decreasing tension. Swelling is a build-up of excess fluids and waste products that increases when the damage has occurred to tissues in the body. Swelling increases pain as well as restricts movement. A massage increases lymph flow due to stimulation of the lymphatic system. The lymph flow picks up and removes excess fluids and waste products from the body. Increasing lymph flow increases the removal of excess fluids and waste products resulting in a reduction of swelling. Reducing swelling relieves pain and allows an increase in movement. A massage also relieves tension. Tension is where muscle fibres stay in the state of contraction causing muscular fatigue and weakness. Tension disables muscles from stretching to their full length therefore reducing the range of movement. A massage increases muscle temperature due to an increase in blood flow. An increase in muscle temperature improves tissue elasticity and encourages muscle relaxation. Relaxed and loose muscles allow them to stretch to their full length therefore increasing range of movement.