Orthopaedic Massage

James Waslaski

Orthopaedic massage originated in the United States and is an advanced discipline within the field of medical massage, utilising a multidisciplinary approach to assessment, treatment and specific client self-care.  It is really a form of Advanced Clinical Sports Massage.  

It focuses on treating painful conditions which affect the soft tissues and musculoskeletal system, with the aims of restoring structural balance to the entire body and ensuring pain free movement, optimal performance and prevention of injuries.

Orthopaedic Massage involves therapeutic assessment, manipulation and movement of the locomotor soft tissues to reduce or eliminate pain and/or dysfunction.  

A unique multidisciplinary approach is utilised to restore structural balance throughout the body, which allows focus on prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal dysfunctions, chronic pain and sports injuries.

Orthopaedic Massage may be helpful for neck and shoulder problems, hip problems, knee problems, problems with the ankles and feet and back pain and sciatica.  It also includes revolutionary new techniques that could help with both frozen shoulders and frozen hips.

Primary Modalities Include:

  • Functional Assessment
  • Myofascial Release
  • Neuromuscular Therapy
  • Scar tissue mobilisation techiques
  • Neuromuscular re-education
  • Stretching
  • Strengthening
  • Specific client self-care protocols

The objectives of orthopaedic massage are to restore balance in muscle groups throughout the body and decompress arthritic or painful joints.


Your consultation will begin with a detailed assessment of your medical history, general health and current conditions and concerns, in order to ascertain whether the treatment will be appropriate for you.

  • Before any treatment commences, you will be asked to undress down to your underwear, or shorts for men and shorts and a crop top for women.
  • You will be asked to perform a series of active movements, followed by some passive movements and finally, resisted movements, so that areas of restriction can be identified.
  • Findings will be discussed with you and you will then be asked to lie on the massage couch so that treatment can begin.
  • Rather than using oil, a little Prossage Heat will be used.  This is a natural, warming ointment that enhances deep tissue release.  Alternatives to this are available, so please ask.
  • A variety of techniques will be used to bring your muscles back into balance, including Myofascial Release, Muscle Energy Techniques (MET), Trigger Point Therapy and Stretching and Strengthening.
  • Any strains (muscles), or sprains (ligaments), will be treated following this.
  • At the end of your treatment, you will be shown how to perform specific self-care exercises that you will need to do in between your sessions.  These will include stretching short tight muscles and strengthening weak muscles.

At the end of your session, your treatment will be reviewed and an overall treatment plan will be discussed with you.  This will include the anticipated number of visits.  This treatment plan will always include both your short and long term goals.


Below is a video of James Waslaski demonstrating the release of a Hip Joint Capsule

as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If in doubt, please consult your Doctor.