Orthotherapy is a natural therapy that combines massage therapy to kinesitherapy (therapy by movement) and is intended for people who suffers from muscle pain and joints stiffness, which are usually caused by a bad posture or sudden and repetitive movements.
The term orthotherapy comes from the prefix ortho- which means “right” or “correct” and expresses well the idea of this discipline. Indeed, orthotherapy aims at rebalancing the musculoskeletal system by mostly intervening on the muscular system.
Orthotherapy is a relatively recent specialization in Canada since its practice emerged in the 70’s. However, it holds a prominent place in the range of holistic manual techniques.
Why should I see an orthotherapist?
Relieve muscle tension
Relieve joint stiffness
Reduce the effects of stress and anxiety on the body
Ease chronic pain
Prepare athletes’ muscles
Calm muscle spasms
The orthotherapist first starts with a health questionnaire to understand the issues that motivate the consultation. Afterwards, he or she will make an assessment of the client’s muscle condition and of the mobility of the painful joints.
The orthotherapy care begins with an in-depth swedish massage to enhance the blood flow and relieve muscular tensions. Depending on the sore areas and the desire effects, the massage can focus on skin, muscles, tendons as well as ligaments and be combine with essential oils, rubefiants (a product with muscular action) or steamy heat (thermotherapy).
Once the muscles are warmed up, the orthotherapist will proceed to mobilizations, which are gentle and slow movements practiced on a body part or a joint in order to restore its mobility. Those mobilizations can be passive (be guided), active (executed by the client himself) or in opposition (the therapist opposes resistance to the movement). The mobilizations always remain in the client’s comfort zone and within the joint’s normal range of motion.
At the end of the session, the orthotherapist will suggest appropriate exercises and stretching to the client to increase the recovery speed and to avoid relapse. At last, the therapist will recommend some at-home cares such as thermotherapy, phytotherapy as well as aromatherapy if needed.