Muscles have a resting state of activity.
This is the level of activity that they return to when they are not functioning at their full optimal level. If they relaxed completely we would be nothing other than a shapeless bag of bones!
In response to pain or excessive biomechanical loading patterns sometimes muscles can exist in too higher a state of resting tension.
Now all tissues need blood supply to be healthy….muscles are no exception (and you only need to cut into a rare steak to see just how bloody muscles are) but ….. a muscle kept in a state of high tension will not allow uniform blood flow through it and will be exposed to a lower level of nutrition than it’s more relaxed counterpart. It will therefore be weaker and generally perform in a more substandard manner.
Physiotherapy can assist in reducing painful states and adjust biomechanical loading to improve functional capacity.
Massage can improve blood flow and reduce stress (further reducing pain sensitisation).
It makes sense therefore that a combination of physiotherapy interventions and massage therapy would be an optimal way to manage some patient’s dysfunctions.
Just as a car is managed with periodic formal servicing (physio) to make sure nothing major is developing, but the smart car owner keeps their own eye on the tyre pressure and oil level regularly in between (massage).