Physical Therapy As Effective As Surgery

//Physical Therapy As Effective As Surgery

Physical Therapy As Effective As Surgery

I suppose when you read this headline you may either think it absurd or secretly agree with it as you have all along realized that we have been mislead for some time as to the true nature of the human body and its ability to repair itself. All it needs is tender touch and rest.

“Inflammation is the first step in the healing process” that is what I was taught as an undergraduate studying pharmacy and it makes sense for the process is nothing more than the emergency services arriving at the injury site to clean up the mess and restore order albeit at a cellular level.

It does not make sense then to suppress inflammation by taking man made synthetic medications that interfere with inflammation which is in itself is telling us that something is wrong and that it needs our immediate attention.

Massage is an art form that has existed for thousands of years something that people have actively sought out to enjoy and make themselves feel better. Today it is no different but somewhere along the way we lost the belief in ourselves and that we can make ourselves better. It’s almost as if we have given up and expect someone else to do the job for us.

Medical research in a roundabout way helps us to rediscover how resilient the human body is and how receptive it is to our own touch. The following articles highlight this approach

Surgery versus Physical Therapy for a Meniscal Tear and OsteoarthritisNew England Journal of Medicine, 2013; 130318220107009 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1301408

A new study showing that physical therapy is just as effective as surgery in patients with meniscal tears and arthritis of the knee should encourage many health care providers to reconsider their practices in the management of this common injury, experts say.


Massage Therapy Attenuates Inflammatory Signaling After Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage.Science Translational Medicine, 2012; 4 (119): 119ra13 DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3002882

Researchers have discovered a brief 10-minute massage helps reduce inflammation in muscle. As a non-drug therapy, massage holds the potential to help not just bone-weary athletes but those with inflammation-related chronic conditions, such as arthritis or muscular dystrophy. While massage is well accepted as a therapy for relieving muscle tension and pain, the researchers delved deeper to find it also triggers biochemical sensors that can send inflammation-reducing signals to muscle cells.

Most athletes can testify to the pain-relieving, recovery-promoting effects of massage. Now there’s a scientific basis that supports booking a session with a massage therapist: On the cellular level massage reduces inflammation and promotes the growth of new mitochondria in skeletal muscle. The research, involving scientists from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario appears in the February 1st online edition of Science Translational Medicine.


Massage Therapy Restores Peripheral Vascular Function following ExertionArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.apmr.2014.02.007

Massage therapy improves general blood flow and alleviates muscle soreness after exercise, according to a study. The results also showed that massage improved vascular function in people who had not exercised, suggesting that massage has benefits for people regardless of their level of physical activity.




“The right massage can relax the body and improve health.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2013. 

The benefits of massage therapy are both physical and mental; while some are immediate, others accumulate over time.

Massage therapy can lower blood pressure, help prevent colds, enhance skin tone and more, according to an expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).


A Comparison of the Effects of 2 Types of Massage and Usual Care on Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized, Controlled TrialAnnals of Internal Medicine, 2011; 155 (1): 1-9


Massage therapy helps ease chronic back pain and improve function, according to results of a randomized controlled trial. The first study to compare structural and relaxation (Swedish) massage, the trial found that both types of massage worked well, with few side effects. Massage helped people with back pain to function even after six months. They were more able to work, take care of themselves, and be active.


As you may read the benefits of massage are quite profound but in all of the above massage therapists were employed but is that at all necessary can the same results be obtained by self massage? The Indians believe in Abhyanga which is an Ayurveda self massage for it is written:

The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much even if subjected to accidental injuries, or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age”

Charaka Samhita Vol. 1, V: 88-89



If one daily massages one body with love and patience for at least 15 to 20 minutes using one of the following oils gently warmed then an avalanche of benefits springs forth.


The best oils to use are almond, coconut, sesame or sunflower. Note that these are nutritious nut oils and for that reason they provide nourishment to the body and provide the following benefits depending upon where they are applied.

The list of benefits includes:

The entire body is nourished helping to combat the effect of ageing.

Muscle tone and the vigor of underlying tissues enhanced.

Limb firmness is improved.

Joint lubrication is improved.

Circulation is better.

The internal organs are stimulated.

Massage assists in the elimination of body impurities.

Lymph drainage is moved along thereby aiding detoxification.

Improved stamina

Nerves are calmed

Sleep becomes better and deeper

Vision becomes enhanced

Hair grows thicker, softer and glossier

Wrinkles are softened reduced and disappear


Besides using nut oils can other natural substances be used and are they of any further benefit?

Certainly when it comes to injury we can also rely upon essential oils and certain herbal preparations.


The list of essential oils is quite extensive the following are some of the more commonly used for both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.

Chamomile, clove, eucalyptus, lavender, sweet marjoram, black pepper, rosemary, peppermint, wintergreen and turpentine, these can be used singularly or in creative synergistic blends for optimal results. They do require carrier oils such as almond or grape seed oil and should be diluted and not used neat.

Essential oils are easily absorbed via the skin into the bloodstream, affecting the nature of the circulation as a whole. Oils with a rubefacient or warming effect not only cause a better local blood circulation but also influence the inner organs. They bring a warmth and glow to the surface of the skin and can provide considerable pain relief though their analgesic or numbing effect. Such oils can relieve local inflammation by setting free mediators in the body which in turn cause the blood vessels to expand, so the blood is able to move more quickly and the swelling is reduced. In general the chemical compounds found in essential oils which bring about these results can be subdivided into two groups; the hydrocarbons which are almost exclusively terpenes and the oxygenated compounds namely esters, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, phenols and oxides.

What about herbal preparations?

Most of these are taken orally but a few such as Comfrey can be used externally. A poultice of this herb can be used for rheumatic complaints, painful bones and slipped discs. Inflamed joints also respond very well to Horsetail poultices and the humble cabbage when its leaves are peeled off and heated with an iron and applied to painful joints brings relief as well.

So there you have it a brief overview of what humanity has known for thousands of years with respect to the benefits associated with massage and which science it now appears is catching up with and explaining for our benefit.

The power to heal yourself has always existed in your hands ! Use it with the gifts available from nature and remember persistence is the key to success. We at realized this and it lead us to discover Ovaderm Massage cream.




By | 2023-06-10T01:52:06+00:00 May 11th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments