Amputation After Care

$45.00 per appointment

(each appointment is up to 30 mins.)

 
 
 
 
 
Limb Loss

Losing a limb is a physical and psychological trauma that has a profound influence on the life of an amputee. Recovery from limb loss is an approach that requires a team of medical professionals assisting in such a recovery.  The amputee will most likely experience swelling, bone pain, muscle pain, nerve pain, muscle stiffness and even anxiety and depression.  Beginning amputation massage care early, after the operation and with a physician's clearence, will assist in relaxing the muscles, desensitizing the nerve pain, reduce swelling and provide additional care to the patient as stated below.  Aside from the massage, you will learn techniques to deal with what is called "phantom pain" and to desensitize the area in mention.

History of Massage for Amputee's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Massage Therapy?

 

Amputees often experience pain in muscles and joints that are not directly associated with the area of amputation. These areas are called “phantom pains” because they are required to perform additional functions to compensate for limitations resulting from the amputation. This imbalance in muscle activity often results in muscular tightness, stiffness, and spasms, which may manifest in a variety of ways across different levels of amputation as well as different areas of each individual’s body.

It is necessary to determine the possible cause of muscular restrictions and reported pain to develop an appropriate treatment plan. The massage therapy treatment may consist of trigger point therapy, joint mobilization, and specific massage techniques to the affected soft tissue. Education in proper posture and instruction in-home care (stretching, for example) are also important elements of massage treatment.

Ultimately, massage therapy can be of great benefit to amputees, whether as a preventive or maintenance measure or as an integral element in the various phases of rehabilitation. It is highly recommended that amputees receive massage therapy in conjunction with beginning prosthetic training and ongoing prosthetic use. This can help prevent muscle strain, tightness, and related pain symptoms that may develop due to alterations in posture and biomechanics combined with the new demands placed on the muscles directly and indirectly involved.

Benefits of Massage Therapy

 

Massage therapy can produce short-term or long-term relief from a variety of symptoms. It is important to stress that even short-term relief can have a huge positive effect psychologically. Several studies suggest that massage therapy is also highly effective in reducing stress and anxiety and in increasing sleep duration – all important factors that can affect an amputee’s quality of life.

 

Some of the reported benefits of massage therapy include:

  • Reduced swelling

  • Increased circulation

  • Less muscle stiffness

  • Reduced scar tissue tightness

  • Reduced spasms

  • Increased muscle length

  • Less pain

  • Decreased anxiety and stress

  • Longer sleep

  • Increased relaxation

Common Amputee Conditions Treatable by Massage 

  • Phantom Limb Pain

  • Residual Limb Pain

  • Hypersensitivity

  • Muscle Tightness, Stiffness, and Spasms (Contractures)

  • Scar Tissue Effects (tightness, itching, or pain)

  • Swelling

  • Poor Blood Circulation

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Massage has a long history in assisting with the healing and the recovery process for amputee's.  Over 1.65 million men in the British Army were wounded during the First World War. Of these, around 240,000 British soldiers suffered total or partial leg or arm amputations as a result of war wounds. Most of these men were fitted with artificial limbs.

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During World War I, Reconstruction Aides would provide "stump massages" for the wounded soldiers who were amputees; to assist in pain management, circulation, contractures and healing both the body and mind.  The wonderful medical Aides provided a most important service to our wounded soldiers and the treatment also proved to be a treatment that was beneficial for the healing process.

The Amputee Coalition of America estimates that there are 185,000 new lower extremity amputations each year just within the United States (73,000 per year are due to diabetes and the foods that we are provided to eat) and an estimated population of 2 million American amputees. It is projected that the amputee population will more than double by the year 2050 to 3.6 million.  The International Diabetes Federation estimates that there will be 435 million amputees worldwide by 2030 from diabetes alone.