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tailored for swedish massage students

inflammatory response

damaged tissues release certain chemicals that trigger a variety of reactions

conditions inflammatory response causes (4)

chemicals produced are anti-inflammatory agents, vasodilation increases amount of white blood cells going to injured area to ward off infection, increased permeability of cell walls allows more substances to pass into and out of cells (scavanger cells, clot forming cells, antibodies, oxygen and nutrients), adequate drainage will remove cell debris

purpose of inflammatory response(3)

dispose of toxins, prevent spread of toxins, prepare the site for tissue repair (if this doesn't occur then chronis inflammation exists)


response of body to damage to the tissues (could be due to injury, burning, freezing, chemicals,UV light, infection)

acute inflammation (2)

the immediate defensive reaction of tissue to any injury, exists to promote healing and repair and to minimize tissue injury

acute exacerbation

when a chronic condition flares up eg, rheumatoid arthritis

systemic inflammation

when an iritant spreads throughout the body to cause widespread changes

acute inflammation characteristics

abrupt (sudden onset), sharp (developes quickly) and brief (short duration)

chronic inflammation characteristics

gradual onset, long lasting, often cause is unknown, disease has an expected progression

acute inflammation signs and symptons (3)

heat and redness (from vasodilation, increased blood supply and permeability, energy from chemical reactions), swelling (from increased fluid in the affected area to dilute irritants and immobilise area to prevent further injury), pain (From pressure of the swelling and build up of irrtants affecting sensory nerves)

acute inflammation treatment

RICE Rest (prevent further injury, movement in pain free range is encouraged), Ice (acts as an analgesic and decreases metabolism nb: 10mins on 10mins off), Compression (limits swelling by promoting reabsorption of fluids, limits bleeding), Elevation (gravity helps drainage and reduces blood and fluid flow to area)

acute inflammation stages (3)

acute (damage tissues release chemicals to trigger recations), subacute (48 hrs after acute phase, pain lessening, swelling reducing, can begin to massage above injury), resolution (tissue repair by replacement of damaged tissue cells, good circulation is necesssary therefore massage is good as it increases lymphatic and venous drainage to take nutrients to the area)

chronic inflammation

if resolution doesn't happen in acute inflammation then chronic inflammation sets in, may result with fibrosis and formation of adhesions, may have healing and healed tissue alongside acutely inflammed tissue, as area is used more inflammation is triggered

role of massage in chronic inflammation

keeps tissues supple and helps in pain relief, can slow down formation of scar tissue and keeps it pliable when it does form


emotional pain can contribute to physical pain, we all have different pain thresholds, touch can block pain sensations and also releases endorphins and encephalins from the brain, visualisation techniques ie. mind over matter

muscle spasm

bodys response to any irritant (if it persists a chronic condition with fibrosis, adhesions, scarring, limited movement and pain occurs), causes imbalances that affects the overall health of the body

result of muscle spasm

irritation to nerves will result in further muscle spasm, impedded blood flow to arteries will result in arterial spasm, chronic shortening will distort jointd that muscle acts on if spasm is prolonged, pain sensors are excited

role of massage in muscle spasm

eases pain and improves circulation therefore facilitating healing, helps joint to keep moving

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