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Orthopedic Assessments for Massage Therapist


Inside of this APP:

Performing a Visual Assessment During Massage

Did you know that as massage therapists, we learn a lot about a client’s muscular structure just by looking at them? We perform a quick visual and postural analysis that gives us a good idea which muscles are shortened and therefore tight, as well as muscles that are lengthened and weak.

Massage Assessment

An assessment is when your massage therapist evaluates what he or she will do during the massage session.  This is the time when the therapist is thoroughly evaluating the client and becoming familiar with the conditions of their skin and muscles.

Visual assessments are broken down into three areas:

  1. Skin inspection
    This is done when the client is in the massage room, and the therapist is performing an intake and is repeated if there have been changes since the last massage.
    The therapist looks at the skin on the arms for color, moisture level, temperature level, texture, and any skin lesions. Gathering this information assists the therapist in determining whether follow-up questions are needed.
  2. Gait Analysis
    A gait analysis assesses how a person walks,  and the pattern of walking.
    Even a small injury affects the way you walk and causes mild pain, stiffness, or weakness.  Improper walking is both inefficient and causes other pain and stiffness in other areas of the body.
  3. Postural Assessment
    When assessing posture, we view your body from each side. We check to see if your shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees are level and whether your head is sitting nicely on your shoulders or if there is an issue causing it to jut forward.

Using all of these assessments before your massage, we can determine which areas in your body need to be focused on during your session to improve your overall condition.

Purpose of Gathering Objective Information:
– in order to have a better understanding of the client’s presenting
condition, and come up with a clinical impression.
– in order to devise an effective treatment plan.

Steps: ( Assessment Protocol / Progression of Assessment )

The following assessments are done after taking a patient history and client interview.

1. Visual Observation – Postural Analysis & Gait Assessment
2. ROM ( Range of Motion ) Testing
3. Muscle Length and Strength Tests 
4. Orthopedic Assessment Tests including Neurological Tests, Myotomes, Dermatomes
5. Palpation