Massage therapy can be a beneficial post-operative tool for many patients, but it is important to know when it is safe to receive massage after surgery. In the right circumstances, massage therapy can help to reduce pain and inflammation, improve circulation, and aid in the healing process. This article will discuss the factors to consider when determining if massage therapy is safe after surgery and provide tips for getting the most benefit from massage post-op.
Benefits of Massage Post-Op
Massage post-operatively provides a plethora of benefits for patients. It helps to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation, improve flexibility and range of motion, and improve circulation. It also helps to reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation, and improve the quality of sleep.
- Reduces Pain: Massage therapy post-op helps to reduce pain by relaxing the muscles and soft tissues, increasing blood flow and decreasing inflammation.
- Improves Flexibility and Range of Motion: Massage therapy helps to stretch and loosen the muscles and soft tissues, improving flexibility and range of motion.
- Improves Circulation: Massage therapy helps to stimulate the circulatory system, increasing the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the area.
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety: Massage therapy can help to reduce stress and anxiety by promoting relaxation.
- Improves Quality of Sleep: Massage therapy can help to improve the quality of sleep by helping to relax the body and mind.
It is important to consult with your doctor before getting a massage post-op as there may be specific restrictions as to how long to wait for massage after surgery depending on the type of procedure and the individual circumstances.
Types of Massage After Surgery
Swedish massage is the most popular form of massage therapy post-surgery and is known for its gentle, long, kneading strokes. This type of massage therapy helps to improve circulation, reduce stress, and stimulate the flow of lymphatic fluid in the body. It can also help to reduce pain and tension in the affected area.
Deep Tissue Massage
Deep tissue massage is a more intense form of massage therapy that is used to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. It is often used to treat chronic pain, as it can help to release tension in the muscles and fascia. It can also help to reduce inflammation and improve circulation.
Trigger Point Massage
Trigger point massage is a form of massage therapy used to specifically target areas of tension and pain in the muscles. This type of massage works by applying pressure to the affected area in order to release tension and promote healing. It can also help to reduce inflammation and improve circulation.
No matter which type of massage therapy you choose, it is important to remember that you should wait at least four weeks after surgery before receiving a massage. It is also important to consult with your doctor or surgeon before getting a massage to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your particular situation. How soon after surgery can I get a massage will depend on the type of surgery you had and the type of massage therapy being used.
When is Massage After Surgery Safe?
Generally, massage therapy post-op is considered safe when the wound is completely healed and the patient has received clearance from their physician. However, it is important to note that massage should not be done directly on the incision site, as this can increase the risk of infection.
In most cases, massage can be safely started four to six weeks after surgery, or when the doctor has given the green light for normal physical activity. It is important to consult with your doctor prior to receiving a massage to ensure that it is safe for you to receive, and to make sure that any post-surgical precautions are taken into consideration.
For more serious cases, such as those involving major surgery or a prolonged recovery, massage may be delayed for months or even years, as the risk of infection or other complications is higher. Even when the wound has healed, the patient should consult their doctor to ensure that massage will not interfere with any post-surgical treatments or medications.
When it comes to when can you get a massage after surgery, the best thing to do is to follow your doctor’s advice and wait until they have given you the go-ahead. While massage can be an effective and therapeutic way to help manage pain and speed up recovery, it is important to ensure that it is safe to do so before proceeding.
How Long to Wait for Massage After Surgery
- Generally, it is recommended to wait at least 4 weeks after surgery before receiving a massage. This allows the body to heal properly and reduce the risk of any complications.
- Your doctor or therapist may recommend a longer wait time depending on the type of surgery you had, the type of massage being done and the area being massaged.
- If you had a major surgery such as spinal surgery, it’s generally recommended to wait at least 6 weeks before receiving massage.
- If you had a minor procedure such as a biopsy, it may be safe to receive massage therapy within a few days after the procedure.
- Your doctor or therapist may advise waiting for lymph nodes to recover before having a massage. This may take up to 8 weeks.
- Your massage therapist may also advise against having massage too soon after surgery, even if it is determined to be safe by your doctor.
- Always consult your doctor or massage therapist before receiving massage after surgery. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your recovery.
How Soon After Surgery Can I Get a Massage?
It is recommended to wait at least four to six weeks before receiving a massage after surgery.
- Patients should consult with their doctor before receiving a massage post-op.
- Massage should not be applied to the area where the incision was made.
- Massage can help reduce pain, improve range of motion, reduce swelling and improve circulation.
- Massage can help with scar tissue mobilization and can also help reduce scar tissue.
- The massage therapist may use light strokes, gentle stretching, and deep tissue work to help reduce tension and promote overall healing.
- It is important to remember that the massage therapist should only work within the limits of what the patient can tolerate.
- It is essential to make sure the patient is comfortable and not in any pain during the session.
Massage therapy can be a beneficial treatment for post-operative recovery. However, it is important to consult with your doctor before receiving massage therapy to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your individual needs.
When Can You Get a Massage After Surgery?
It is generally safe to get a massage two days after minor surgery. You may experience some discomfort, but this will usually subside after a few minutes. Ask your doctor if it is safe to get a massage if you’re feeling pain or discomfort.
It is recommended to wait at least four to six weeks before getting a massage after major surgery. During this time, your body needs to heal and get used to being in a new position. A massage can help to reduce inflammation and swelling, as well as improve circulation in the affected area. When you’re ready to have a massage, make sure to talk to your doctor first.
Massage After Surgery Precautions
Do Not Put Pressure On Incision Sites: Incision sites should not be massaged or put under any pressure. This can cause further damage to the area, as well as risk infection. Avoid Deep Tissue Massage: Deep tissue massage can put too much pressure on the body, which can cause pain and discomfort. Instead, opt for a light, gentle massage. Do Not Massage Over Bruising: Bruising can indicate trauma to the area and should not be massaged until the bruising is gone. Avoid Heat: Hot stones, hot packs, and heated massage oils should not be used in the area of the surgery, as this can cause inflammation and further damage to the area. Talk to Your Doctor: It is important to consult with your doctor before getting a massage after surgery. Your doctor will be able to provide recommendations on the best massage techniques for your specific recovery and needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Soon Can I Receive Massage Therapy After Surgery?
It Depends on the Type of Surgery:
- For minor surgeries, massage therapy may be available as soon as the first day after surgery.
- For more major surgeries, it is best to wait at least a week before receiving massage therapy.
- For major surgeries, it is important to wait until the incision has healed before receiving massage therapy.
- For surgeries involving bone or muscle injuries, massage therapy can be beneficial in helping to reduce pain and inflammation.
- If you are unsure, it is best to check with your doctor or surgeon before scheduling massage therapy.
It Is Best to Check With Your Doctor Before Booking:
- Your doctor will be able to determine the best time for you to receive massage therapy after surgery.
- Your doctor can also advise you on the type of massage therapy that is safe for you.
- Your doctor may also be able to recommend a massage therapist that is experienced with post-surgical massage.
What kind of massage techniques should I use post-surgery?
1. Light Touch Massage
- – Light touch massage techniques are best for post-operative massage, as it provides gentle stimulation to the affected area. This technique can increase circulation and decrease pain and swelling.
2. Trigger Point Release – Trigger point release is another massage technique which can help to relieve pain and improve range of motion after surgery. This technique works by targeting specific muscles and releasing tightness.
3. Myofascial Release – Myofascial release is a massage technique which works to release tension in the muscles and connective tissues. This technique can help to improve range of motion, reduce tension, and increase circulation.
4. Deep Tissue Massage – Deep tissue massage is a more intense massage technique which can help to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and reduce swelling. It is important to be careful with deep tissue massage, as it can be too intense for some post-operative patients.
5. Lymphatic Drainage – Lymphatic drainage is a massage technique which can help to reduce swelling and improve circulation. This technique works by gently stimulating the lymphatic system to improve the flow of lymph fluid.
Are there any contraindications for massage therapy after surgery?
- Open wounds: Massage should not be performed on an open wound or incision until it is healed.
- Fever: Massage should not be performed on someone with a fever.
- Infection: Massage should not be performed if the area has an infection.
- Severe Pain: Massage should not be performed if the area is feeling too painful.
- Excessive Bleeding: Massage should not be performed if the area is bleeding excessively.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis: Massage should not be performed if the person has a history of deep vein thrombosis.
- Heart Conditions: Massage should not be performed if the person has a history of heart conditions.
It is important to be aware of the potential contraindications of massage therapy after surgery. If any of the above signs or symptoms are present, massage should be avoided.
Are there any special precautions I need to take when receiving massage therapy after surgery?
Yes. When considering massage therapy after surgery, it is important to take the following precautions:
- Consult your doctor: Before starting massage therapy after surgery, it is important to consult your doctor and receive approval. Your doctor can provide guidance on the type of massage therapy that is safest for your particular situation.
- Choose a qualified therapist: It is essential to choose a qualified massage therapist who is experienced in working with post-surgery patients.
- Be aware of the area of treatment: Be aware of the area of treatment and ensure the massage therapist avoids any incision sites. It is also important to inform the massage therapist of any areas that are feeling tender or sore.
- Choose a gentle massage: Choose a gentle massage technique that focuses on relaxation and stress relief. Avoid any deep tissue or pressure massage.
- Listen to your body: If at any time during the massage therapy you experience any discomfort or pain, inform the massage therapist immediately.
By following these precautions, you can ensure that massage therapy after surgery is safe and beneficial.
How Often Should I Receive Massage Therapy After Surgery?
The frequency of massage therapy post-surgery depends on the type of surgery, the individual’s healing process, and their overall health. Generally, it is recommended to wait until the surgical wound has healed before beginning massage therapy. After that, massage therapy should be done at a frequency recommended by your healthcare provider. Depending on the individual’s condition, sessions can range from once a week to once a month.
Massage therapy is a safe and effective way to promote healing and reduce pain and swelling after surgery. Massage can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual, and can be done by a qualified massage therapist to ensure the best results. It is important to speak to your doctor before beginning massage therapy post-op, to ensure it is safe and beneficial for you.
- Manzanares-Garcia, E., Cano, F. J., & Garcia, M. A. (2016). Massage therapy for postoperative recovery. World Journal of Surgery, 40(3), 668-675.
- Wang, Z., Ding, Y., & Wang, Y. (2018). Effectiveness of massage therapy on postoperative recovery: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine, 97(1).