The Benefits of Massage after your Car Accident
For people who have sustained injuries in car accidents, it is not uncommon to seek massage therapy services. The discomfort associated with soft tissue injuries such as whiplash, sprains, and strains can often be alleviated through registered massage therapy treatments, and there is also a growing body of evidence for massage therapy to manage the stress and emotional consequences of motor vehicle accidents. If you are curious about massage therapy following a car accident, you should speak to your physician for a referral, but here are some ways massage therapy may be beneficial after your accident.
Not only are car accidents emotionally traumatic events for many, there is added stress associated with dealing with the consequences of an accident. You may have medical appointments, legal appointments, and consultations with your insurance company that can all have an emotional toll. Massage therapy is often beneficial for stress reduction in a number of ways. First, treatments delivered by a registered massage therapist can lower heart rate and blood pressure while relaxing muscles. All these effects are also supplement by an increased release of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine which can all contribute to improved mood and relaxation. Additionally, regular massage has been shown to improve energy levels as well as mental performance. Combined, these effects of massage therapy can have a significant impact on stress management so that you can navigate the challenges many face after a car accident.
There are several mechanisms theorized for how therapeutic massage can help with pain management. It’s important to recognize that pain and stress are closely related – so, the stress management benefits of massage are also likely to assist with pain management. New research is also dedicated to understanding how massage may help to “rewire” pain messages by stimulating nerve fibres and possibly impeding pain messages between the peripheral and central nervous system. Massage can also have beneficial impacts on sleep which may help with recovery from injury. Still, it is important to work with a registered massage therapist for pain management as massage can also be contra-indicated; for example, your therapist should not massage inflamed or infected tissue.
Finally, massage has been shown to be effective for wound healing as it helps to break down scar tissue and stimulate healing. During the healing process, collagen fibres and connective tissues serve to repair an injury site, but after time the formation of scar tissue can restrict movement as scar tissue is less flexible (or elastic) than healthy tissue. Massage therapy can help to reduce pain and improve range of motion by preventing the formation of scar tissue.
If you have more questions about massage therapy or you’d like to learn about ways massage can help you recover from your accident, speak to your doctor or massage therapist. Many people benefit from registered massage therapy following a motor vehicle accident particularly in the areas of stress management, pain management, and tissue recovery.