Osteoporosis and Massage : An overview
|November 9, 2011||Posted by Jean Hoiland under Anatomy, Holistic Healers, Osteoporosis||
a message from Fae Swetz
For the osteoporosis patient massage has different advantages and disadvantages. Massage will more than likely not change any calcium uptake or bone density. There is also the possibility of fracture if there is overpressure from the Massage Practitioner. Caution is always key for the Practitioner.
On the other hand, massage can be beneficial for osteoporosis patients and is not necessarily contraindicated. The appropriateness of massage is determined by the fragility of the individual. They key to massage for these patients is comfort massage. The front (chest, anterior neck, and abdominal) muscles are often very tight and hard due to hyperkyphosis (also called Dowager’s hump) while the back muscles are stretched and irritated. Massage can definitely offer relief of these symptoms even if it can’t reverse bone degeneration.
What to expect:
A massage client with osteoporosis can expect their comfort to be of the utmost importance. In the session, their positioning is enhanced with pillows. The massage practitioner will start with slow gliding massage called effleurage and if it is indicated will go on to a slightly deeper kneading type massage called petrissage. A practitioner should never use deep tissue massage on a client with osteoporosis. Always have an ongoing exchange of information regarding pressure of the massage with the practitioner.
If an osteoporosis patient is considering becoming a massage client and is unsure of their fragility, they should consult with their doctor first. Massage therapy is not is not a substitute for medical examination or medical care. Any client should always consult with their doctor if there is any question regarding their health.
Always make sure a massage practitioner is professionally trained, has a license, and is a member of a massage or bodywork association that offers liability insurance.
Fae E. Swetz LMP
Family Care for You
Part of the Intent Yoga and Healing Arts Collective