Medical Massage: What you need to know

There are so many options available in the healthcare field to help you find relief and decrease pain. It can be overwhelming to filter through all the information to determine what is going to be the most effective for you. Today we are going to answer commonly asked questions about medical massage.

What is medical massage? Medical massage is a type of massage that focuses on a specific area of the body that is causing you pain or discomfort. You will complete a brief screening with a physical therapist before getting your massage. The screening consists of a brief medical history, assessment of your range of motion, and may include special tests to determine the cause of your pain. These screenings help your massage therapist know which areas to focus on to help decrease your pain and improve any limitations you may have.

Will I need a screening at every massage appointment? No. If you are being seen for the same area of the body, you will not need another screening after your initial visit. The physical therapist will be available to address any concerns you may have along the way.

Is medical massage covered by insurance? Yes….uhhh No… well, sometimes! It is probably not the straight forward answer you are looking for but it is the honest answer. Medical massage may be covered by your insurance, but it is always best to check with your insurance provider to determine what coverage is available for your plan.

Can I do medical massage and physical therapy? Yes, many times medical massage and physical therapy are recommended to be done together. They are not always recommended together but results are being seen faster when both are being used to decrease pain.

Why does medical massage and physical therapy give you faster results? We are seeing quicker results when the two techniques are completed together because the massage helps to decrease the muscle tightness and get rid of pesky knots while physical therapy is strengthening the right muscles in order to fix the cause of the problem. Often times physical therapy treatments are a great partner with medical massage because of the amount of time the massage therapist can spend hands on with you, followed by the expertise the physical therapy team has to keep you feeling better.


Do I need a doctor’s referral for medical massage? The only time you would need a doctor’s referral for a medical massage is when insurance requires a referral for coverage. Again, it is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage for medical massage.

If you are unsure if medical massage if right for you, talk to a physical therapist. You can also use the free consultation feature available on our website to learn more about this service and its benefits. Visit to request a free consultation and a member of our care team will call you to answer any questions you may have.

Now that we have answered a few common questions related to medical massage, we want to hear from you! Post your comments or more questions below!

Jackie Giese, LPTA
Community Outreach Coordinator
Physical Therapy Consultants

January 25th, 2018

Posted In: General

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