Massage vs. Physical Therapy Treatment: What’s the Difference?

If you are injured, your doctor may recommend physical therapy. Physical therapy promotes healing. It helps people overcome injuries like back pain, neck pain, and more.

Massage is often used as a physical therapy treatment. But massage and physical therapy should not be confused. There are key differences to consider.

This article will review the difference between massage and physical therapy, so you know what to expect.

What’s the Difference Between Massage and Physical Therapy?

Physical therapy is a complete treatment plan that typically includes range of motion and other rehabilitative exercises. The doctor may also give the patient homework so they can heal at home between sessions. They will also undergo in-office treatments that may include laser therapy, traction, dry needling, ultrasound, and massage.

Massage is integrated into physical therapy, but it is only one aspect of it. It is rarely performed outside the office unless you have a partner or aide who has massage training. It is also not specific to physical therapy. It is available to uninjured patients as well.

Different Techniques in Physical Therapy Massage

Physical therapy also differs from other types of massage due to the techniques involved. Certain techniques are specific to physical therapy. They may be used for other purposes, but you will rarely find other types of massage integrated into the therapy process.

They include:

Active Release Technique (ART): This technique involves the therapist manipulating the body to release tension from muscles and tendons. They will identify the source of pain and focus on the area to break up scar tissue, improve mobility, and prevent further injuries.

Trigger Point Massage Therapy: This therapy involves identifying trigger points in the body that are causing pain. The therapist will use their thumb or a tool to apply indirect pressure to the area until the nearby muscles and tissues relax.

Soft Tissue Massage: Soft tissue massage incorporates various muscle depths and pressures to break up knots in the muscles and increase flexibility. The therapist will put direct pressure on the muscles and soft tissue to relieve pain.

Myofascial Release: This technique was developed to address pain that results from pressure in seemingly unrelated body parts. The therapist will exert a slow, sustained pressure on stiff, painful muscles to loosen and lengthen the area. The technique realigns tight muscles.

Benefits of Massage in Physical Therapy

  • Boosts Immunity: Massage may increase white blood cell count to increase immunity and promote healing.
  • Improves Circulation: Massage promotes blood flow through the area to relieve sore muscles.
  • Improves Flexibility, Posture, and Range of Motion: Massage improves range of motion, posture, and flexibility to increase mobility.
  • Boosts Mood: Massage boosts serotonin levels in the body to decrease pain and side
    effects like anxiety and depression.

Massage Revolution is your source for physical therapy and massage services. We will assess your pain and find a treatment to promote healing. We have a licensed staff and accept insurance.

Contact us to schedule the best massage in Los Angeles today.

Massage Revolution’s Back & Neck Relief Center located in Manhattan Beach is the biggest trigger point therapy clinic in Los Angeles and the world.

Member savings plans are available. PPO insurance is also accepted.

…Call today for guaranteed relief and results!


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Neuromuscular Massage Therapists

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Massage Revolution & Therapeutic Massage Los Angeles offers all types of massage services to help you live relaxed, rejuvenated, and pain-free. We proudly serve the South Bay cities including Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance, El Segundo, Playa Del Rey, Westside (Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, etc) and surrounding Los Angeles areas.

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