Massage for Post-Op Recovery and Accelerated Healing
If you want to get the most out of your surgery recovery, you should definitely consider a post-operative massage. As its name suggests, a post-operative massage is a procedure performed on those who have undergone a general surgery, orthopedic or plastic surgery and require a period of rest and rehabilitation.
What is a Post-Operative Massage?
A post-operative massage is a gentle form of massage that increases blood flow and promotes recovery by targeting the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps process waste and absorbs fluids. After surgery, these fluids can harden, which is often painful. A post-operative massage prevents and treats this hardening of fluids by reducing inflammation and promoting circulation to the affected area.
The massages also serve as a tool to further promote the aesthetic you wish for yourself and aid in reducing things like scarring and discomfort. This article will go over what a post-op massage entails, how it can benefit you, and the risks that are sometimes involved with a post-op massage.
Benefits of Massage on Recovery
Post-operative massage therapy is tailored to help recovery and limit problems. Here are some of the benefits you can expect.
Soft Tissue Repair
By carefully selected massage techniques, therapists can help promote circulation and blood flow throughout your body–although primarily in the area that was treated. This improvement of circulation allows for nutrients to easily be brought to certain areas. With the increase of nutrients, soft tissues have an easier time in repairing.
Less Scar Tissue
Another aspect that massages can aid with is in the reduction of scar tissue. Because the therapist is relaxing the muscles, they become supple. This helps decrease the chance of scar tissue forming. In addition, it can also help break up scar tissue that has already formed and promote healing and regeneration of these problem areas.
Overall, with better circulation and easy access to nutrients–as well as just a general reduction of stress–your body will heal faster.
With better blood flow and oxygen given to your vital organs and tissues, you can help your body to become more flexible, and thus regenerate and heal faster than without the massage. For those who are eager to be done with their post-op phase and to return to their normal life, then a massage is the perfect treatment option for them.
Different Types Of Massages
There are a few different types of massages that your therapist might offer. Depending on where you had your plastic surgery and the amount of discomfort you’re in, they may consider applying one or a few of these techniques to improve your recovery.
Lymphatic Drainage Massage
As its name might suggest, a lymphatic drainage massage (LDM) involves the careful movement of excess fluid from your lymph nodes elsewhere. Common after a surgery is performed, lymph nodes tend to swell and become filled with fluid. This can become extremely uncomfortable, and even painful, if not addressed.
Indeed, in some cases, if the lymph nodes are left to become inflamed and swollen, it might even cause problems with mobility. LDM is designed to drain this excess fluid. A thorough massage of certain areas of the body with a certain amount of pressure will see it done. By so doing, the lymph nodes are left clear, and your body can heal and recover faster than otherwise.
Another helpful technique that massage therapists may use is transverse friction. In this technique, the goal is to help reduce or remove scar tissue. By applying careful pressure to a targeted area, the therapist can work to remove the scar tissue which will allow the body to heal. By so doing, a considerate amount of pain or discomfort can be removed.
Risks And Precautions
As with all post-operative recovery techniques, care should be taken when pursuing a massage. Don’t schedule an appointment too quickly after surgery. As such, you should speak both with your doctor and a certified massage therapist to determine when is the best time for you to begin post-op massage treatments.
Just like attempting to run after hip surgery, you don’t want to overdo it. Be sure that you tell your therapist of any problem areas that you’ve noticed, particularly areas of pain or inflammation. Not only can this help them plan out an effective massage treatment, but they can ensure they do not cause you further pain.
Easy, Soothing, Relief
A massage can be an excellent treatment for a post-op procedure. With careful application, you can enjoy an easy and relaxing experience to boost your post-op recovery. Call our Spa Guides!
About the author: Laura Chow is a medical writer at The Breslow Center. She is also an active volunteer with various women’s cancer organizations, and a strong proponent of non-pharmacological approaches to wellness and healing.