Acute injury and Treatment from Massage Therapy

Injured yourself and can not get in to see your osteopath or phyiotherapist? Being assessed and treated by a qualified therapeutic massage therapist, when the injury is acute can aid in the healing and recovery.

RCEM Learning (Creative Commons license)
RCEM Learning (Creative Commons license)

An acute injury (24-72 hours after the traumatic event), as a result of an impact or trauma such as a fall, strain, sprain or collision, can cause sudden and sharp pain.


Signs and Symptoms of an acute injury are:

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Skin that is warm to the touch
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation

During the acute stage of an injury, swelling is the body’s natural response to inflammation and injury. As a result, the blood vessels at the injury site become overwhelmed and leak into surrounding tissues.

The lymphatic system is the body’s natural edema(swelling) removal system.

A qualified therapeutic massage therapist can assess and address the acute injury, as well as advise whether further medical attention is needed. By utilizing lymphatic drainage massage swelling can be kept to a minimum. This will help to lessen the pain felt during the injury. Reducing the swelling, will also decrease the chances of bruising, and scar tissue will have a less of a chance to form. The healing time for an acute injury can also be shortened.

Once the injury moves past the acute stage (greater than 72 hours after the traumatic event and absence of swelling and inflammation), a therapeutic massage can assist in restoring range of motion and function to the affected area, reduce scar tissue formation, improve tissue healing and ease muscle spasms that form as a result of the pain. Self-care will be provided to help with injury recovery and prevention.

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