Massage Therapy & Amputation Surgery

Massage therapy has been shown to benefit people who have had amputation surgery, managing chronic pain, enhancing performance, alleviating depression, and improving quality of life.

According to studies done by St. John’s Rehabilitation Center in Toronto, massage therapy helps alleviate phantom limb pain, residual limb pain, hypersensitivity, muscle tension & spasms, scar tissue, swelling, anxiety and depression (1).

Most of the benefits that massage therapy offers are “frequently identified as goals of rehabilitation and very relevant to amputee care” (1).

• Reduce swelling
• Increase circulation
• Reduce muscle tightness and stiffness
• Reduce scar tissue tightness
• Reduce spasms
• Increase muscle length
• Decrease pain
• Decrease anxiety and stress
• Improve sleep (i.e. duration)
• Increase state of relaxation

Massage therapy is highly recommended for those beginning prosthetic training as well as those with ongoing prosthesis;  massage will help alleviate muscle strain, soreness, tension, and pain related to changes in posture and new demands placed on muscles involved (2).

(1). Kania, A. (2009). Amputee Rehabilitation & Care. Massage Therapy Canada. Retrieved from
http://www.massagetherapycanada.com/content/view/1358/38/

(2). Kania, A. (2004, July/August). Integration of Massage Therapy Into Amputee Rehabilitaion & Care.  In Motion. Retrieved from
http://www.amputee-coalition.org/inmotion/jul_aug_04/massagetherapy.html

 

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