Deep Transverse Friction Massage
Deep transverse friction massage or DTFM refers to a physical therapy strategy frequently used to minimize the scarring and damage often triggered by inflammation. This therapy stimulates the blood flow to your joints, thereby facilitating the process of healing the tendon. It does so by boosting the amount of oxygen delivered to the injury.
For deep transverse friction massage to work in your favor, you must find a therapist who is skilled and knowledgeable in this area.
The technique is now popular for its effectiveness in treating injuries affecting the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It also works whether the condition is mild, acute, or chronic. For this technique to work, it is vital that proper evaluation procedures be performed to find the right structure.
How Does It Work?
As the name suggests, deep transverse friction massage works on a deeper level. In fact, it is a deep tissue treatment technique executed at the actual site where the injury has taken place. It is important for the massage to be executed at the actual injured spot so that the massage can break down scar tissue and stimulate its re modelling. The result,once the re modelling process takes place, is a more pliable, functional, and flexible tissue, which is beneficial when treating chiropractic sports injury.
Deep transverse friction massage also works to relieve pain by producing a numbing effect through the application of friction. In addition, it works through immediate reassessment right after the session. Such an assessment can show a significant reduction in pain while also boosting mobility and strength.
Basically, the massage is a specific way to “use it or lose it.” Note that when it comes to healing, an important principle is to avoid disturbing the tissue during the healing process. The same is true when it comes to treating tendinitis or any other condition the deep transverse friction massage is intended to treat. In this case, there is a great chance that the stress in your tendons or tissues exceeds your body’s ability to adapt.
Despite that, improving the health of your tissue and promoting its healing requires some form of stimulation to prevent it from getting stagnant. It requires moderate stimulation as a means of moving the fluids in your tissues and inducing repair. The good thing about this technique is that it does not require a lot of pulling, which might aggravate the condition, especially in the presence of continued irritation.
The massage stimulates your tissue in a mild and moderate manner, preventing the aggravation of the condition. The main goal is to find the exact spot where the injury has taken place. To find the right location, proper evaluation procedures as well as palpation of certain muscles, tendons, and ligaments is essential.
It is also important to apply the friction massage on all affected fibers. For it to produce your desired results, the massage should be applied deeply with an adequate sweep. It is also important for the patient to remain in a comfortable position.
Here's a sample video of a Deep Transverse Friction Massage:
What Can It Do?
Deep transverse friction massage provides plenty of benefits to anyone who tries it. Following are just some of the many things this therapy can do for you:
- Relieve pain
This massage comes with pain relief properties designed to relieve the pain affecting the different parts of your body due to injuries. This pain relief and analgesic effect lasts the entire day – up to twenty-four hours. That’s more than enough convenience for any patient.
- Prevent the formation of adhesion
Deep transverse friction massage stimulates a transverse motion of your collagen fiber. Such a movement helps lower the risk of adhesion. However, note that there are instances in which adhesion's have already formed. In this case, it is important to apply more intense friction when performing the massage as a means of breaking them down. Such a case also requires the use of friction to mobilize scar tissue with the aim of breaking cross linkages between your connective tissues as well as the structures surrounding them.
- Induce traumatic hyperaemia
The technique requires the use of forceful movements and deep friction, which stimulates vasodilation while increasing the flow of blood in the affected area. When this happens, chemical irritants are removed. It also helps boost the transport of endogenous opiates. The result is reduced pain, which is another reason why this form of massage offers immediate pain relief.
- Stimulate fiber orientation
Such stimulation is a huge benefit, as it also aids in the regeneration of connective tissues. Applying transverse friction during the early stages of repair improves the remodeling process. It can lead to collagen fiber reorientation longitudinally.
It should be noted that the number of times and the duration over which the treatment should take place differs based on the kind and severity of the injury. If you have a recent ligament injury, for instance, start by doing gentle massage on a daily basis, as this will help maintain your mobility.
For acute injuries affecting the ligaments, do the deep friction massage for ten to fifteen minutes each session. This ensures that the affected area will fully heal. That said, first gauge the severity of your case to determine the ideal duration and frequency of your massage.
For deep transverse friction massage to work in your favor, you must find a therapist who is skilled and knowledgeable in this area. Such a therapist should also be able to distinguish pain and tenderness. Note that pain is often due to clinical assessment and reassessment. Tenderness, on the other hand, may be caused by deep friction. It might persist even after the pain is relieved.
With that in mind, it is best to apply deep transverse friction massage every other day. Another option is to apply it once the excess tenderness wears off. Regardless of how frequently or over which length of time you decide to apply it, your goal should be to retain mobility within the soft tissues of your tendon, ligament, and muscles while also preventing the risk of scar formation.