With the sedentary lifestyle becoming more and more prevalent, muscle injuries are also becoming commonplace. And as we age, not only are those injuries increasing but our range of motion is limited. One solution is to improve range of motion with massage.
How Limited Range of Motion Affects Us
Range of motion refers to our ability to move portions of our body to their fullest. There area few different reasons it may become limited, but a sedentary lifestyle is a large contributing factor.
Sitting at our desks for hours at a time in the same position for hours on end causes our muscles and joints to tighten up, leading to the feeling of being “stiff.” This stiffness often results in prolonged soreness and pain.
What is actually happening is the muscles are contracting and shortening. As a result, it puts pressure on the joints associated with the bones those muscles are attached to. All of this combined is what causes a reduction in your range of motion.
You may experience a limited range of motion if you suffer from:
- Back pain
- Frozen shoulder
- A pulled muscle
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Piriformis Syndrome
- Carpal Tunnel
- And other similar conditions
Solving Limited Range of Motion with Massage
One of the main goals of massage therapy is to relax and “reset” the muscles. Through massage techniques, your therapist can help you restore range to tight muscles.
How can it help?
- It helps to increase circulation to areas of the body that might not be getting what they need. Improving blood flow means oxygen and nutrients are now streaming into the area which was previously deprived, and healing time can quicken.
- It promotes relaxation in muscles. When your muscles are able to properly relax, they also lengthen, solving the original issue of shortened, tense muscles.
- When the muscles start to loosen, so does the tissue around those muscles, making it easier for the muscles to move more freely.
When will a massage be most effective?
Any time you are suffering from tight or sore muscles, a massage is applicable.
When you experience pain from muscle tightness, stress levels increase, which also decreases your state of mental relaxation. Relieving that pain and tension through massage puts you back into a healthy physical and mental state.
It can also be helpful for preventing injuries before they happen. If your muscles are fully prepared and relaxed, there’s less of a chance of sustaining an injury due to tense muscles. This means less time off work to recover and higher productivity.
How often is appropriate?
If your muscles are causing you any level of pain or discomfort, schedule a massage as often as you’re able. Sore muscles don’t heal themselves without a change, so you shouldn’t ignore them.
If you’re scheduling an on-site massage for your employees, you don’t want to do anything less than once or twice each month. The more often you receive a massage, the more flexible and relaxed your muscles will be. And when you’re feeling your best, you’ll be more productive.
What can be done between sessions?
In between massage sessions — whether it’s a month or a week — you should stretch every day and complete range of motion exercises. Stretching aids in blood circulation which helps to prevent illnesses. Lengthening muscles through daily stretching also helps to align posture — something necessary to prevent strained muscles if you spend most of your week at a desk, typing and staring at a computer screen.
Stretching is also particularly important if you have a physically active life outside of work. If tight muscles are prone to injury, that means loose, relaxed muscles are less likely to sustain damage. And when you sustain an injury outside of work, it’s still going to affect you the following morning when you get into the office.
No matter your lifestyle, age, or activity level, adding a massage into your routine will always be to your benefit. If you are thinking about bringing massage into your employee wellness program, reach out to us to schedule a time that works for your company’s schedule.