Pathology for Massage Therapists


Definition: a mass of new abnormal tissue; usually a malignant tumor
Causes: see cancer
Signs/Symptoms: lump or thickening of tissue
Indications: Massage for stress reduction and elimination of toxins
Contraindications: Avoid direct pressure on area or use caution with clients and physicians ok. Refer to appropriate health care practitioner for treatment.

Definition: inflammation of the kidney
Causes: damage from exposure to chemicals, poisons, toxins, bacterial or viral infection, chronic diseases such as diabetes or lupus
Signs/Symptoms: fever, chills, back pain, abdominal pain, fluid retention
Indications: Massage to remove toxins, increase circulation
Contraindications: Watch for drug interactions; Refer to appropriate health care practitioner.

Definition: nerve pain along the path of a peripheral sensory nerve without inflammation
Causes: trauma, injury, stress, nerve impingement or pressure on a nerve due to poor circulation, muscle spasm, arthritis, or poorly healed fracture
Signs/Symptoms: shooting and throbbing pain, tingling, numbness, paresthesia, no signs of inflammation, cold extremities due to reduction in circulation, peripheral nerve impingement, radiating pain following dermatomes, muscle spasms, weakness
Common types: Trigeminal neuralgia, thoracic outlet syndrome, intercostal neuralgia, Bell's Palsy
Indications: Massage to relieve pain and stress; traction to relieve pressure on nerve; realignment as needed throughout body.
Contraindications: Refer for diagnostic procedures if persistent and unrelievable

Definition: inflammation of a nerve
Interstitial Neuritis: inflammation of the connective tissue of the nerve trunk characterized by dull, aching pain that follows the path of the nerve
Parenchymatous neuritis: inflammation of the internal nerve structure the axon and myelin
Causes: trauma, injury, stress, infection
Signs/Symptoms: pain, referred pain, redness along nerve, burning pain, paresthesia and pain when stretched, paralysis possible in parenchymatous, muscle spasm
Indications: Massage for stress reduction and pain relief; ice/heat as per stage of symptoms. Reduce inflammation. Relieve impingement.
Common types: Brachial plexus, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, trigeminal neuritis, ulnar neuritis
Contraindications: Refer for diagnostic procedures if persistent and unrelievable; Acute neuritis is contraindicated for massage, no stretching.

Definition: night blindness
Causes: stress, eyestrain, nutritional deficiencies
Signs/Symptoms: unable to see well in faint light or darkness
Indications: Massage for stress reduction; Eye exercises
Contraindications: Refer to Bates Vision specialist

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