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Massage Today
March, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 03

Frequency of Injury Treatment Sessions

By Ben Benjamin, PhD

Question: When treating somebody for an injury, is it most effective to see the person every day if possible?

Answer: No, in some cases. Yes, in others. If there is only one injured area (e.g., low back, neck, or shoulder), I would say "no" - even if the person has multiple ligament and muscle lesions. There should be at least one recovery day after each treatment to give the area a rest. Therefore, two or three times a week is optimal.

For clients who have injuries in several different locations, it's fine to have them come more often. In some cases, I've given daily treatments to individuals with injuries to the neck, thorax, low back, knees, ankles, shoulders, and elbows. For example, on the first day I would work on the neck, thorax and low back. On the second day, I would treat the shoulders and elbows along with some very light, brief work on the back and neck. On the third day, I would focus on the knees and ankles, adding a light massage on the shoulders and arms. On the fourth day, I would start all over again - thereby giving the person a few days of rest on each body part. I've done this a number of times with people who are only in town for a few weeks at a time.

I remember doing it another way when treating a woman in pain who was very nervous about having her second child in her 40s. The first pregnancy was quite painful and difficult. She came in with injuries to her neck, low back, knees, ankles, feet, shoulders, and several intercostal muscles. I treated her five days a week for six weeks. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I rotated working on her injuries, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I had my assistant give her a circulatory massage. She ended up having little to no pain as her pregnancy progressed and had an easy delivery.

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