Orthopedic Massage (OM) is best described as a massage technique that supports normalized muscle function of soft tissue by reducing muscle hypertonicity (tightness), and strengthening of inhibited (weak) muscles. Lauren Berry, RPT, influenced OM as reflected in his treatment of chronic and acute injuries. Examples of the types of injuries he treated through OM were muscle strains, sprains and
twisted joints. As a mechanical engineer and a physical therapist, Berry theorized that all soft tissues in the body have a specific position relative to the neighboring
soft tissue and its associated joint, and that massage must be applied in a specific manner to correct its positional function.
The standard protocol used in OM is comprised of four components. This standard protocol incorporates the following tools that are used in OM which further
evaluates the condition of the client.
1) Orthopedic Assessment
2) Matching the physiology of the injury with the physiological effects of treatment
3) Treatment Adaptability
4) Appropriate use of the protocol
When these steps are taken this creates an adequate and workable treatment plan. Postural analysis along with functional assessment are also excellent ways to gather data, as it relates to the client’s health and OM.
Treatments can be administered through several modalities such as Muscle Energy Techniques (MET), Deep Tissue Therapy, Sports Massage, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching, Active Isolated Stretching (AIS), and more.
Other treatments that may help in the healing process are Acupuncture, Acupressure, Reiki, Chakra Balancing, and Holistic Examinations.
OM can also be administered as a support to Physical Therapy treatments, postoperative care, and general overall management of the body.
If you would like to determine if OM is for you please contact me or Dr. Victoria Goldsten, HD at the Washington Institute at 202-237-7681.
Robert White, LMT