Austin Manual Therapy Associates

Motion is Lotion

“Motion is Lotion” is a phrase I use in the clinic on a daily basis. I wanted to take a moment to explain to everyone why “motion is lotion” and the importance of appropriate movement to help our bodies heal when our tissues are inflamed.

There are 3 phases of tissue healing.

  • Inflammatory Response
  • Repair and Regeneration
  • Remodeling and Maturation

Our bodies experience pain when our tissues are actively in the inflammatory response phase of tissue healing. In order for our tissues to start phase 2 of the healing process the inflammatory response needs to be near complete. It is important to bring good blood flow to the areas of inflammation to help the healing process and push our bodies into phase 2. There are a few ways to help bring good blood flow to the areas of inflammation that include heat, hydration, and most importantly movement. The best way to get blood flowing, not just in the localized area of pain, is to get the heart pumping.

I know there can be a lot of fear of movement when we are in pain. Often times when we are injured or in pain we are told to “just rest” but in reality it is actually more beneficial to continue to move to help bring blood flow to the area of inflammation to help tissues in the healing process. Now I’m not suggesting to go run a marathon, but I am suggesting to continue gentle and generalized movement to help tissues get to the repair and regeneration phase of healing.

If it hurts too badly to move the area that is injured, move a different body part! If you are recovering from a shoulder injury, get those legs moving. If your knee hurts and it’s too painful to go for a brisk walk, get your arms moving.

“Motion is Lotion” so don’t be afraid to move! Get that blood flowing and help those tissues heal in a timely manner.

If you have any questions, concerns, or need any suggestions on what would be appropriate movements to do to help with pain relief feel free to reach out to us at Austin Manual Therapy Associates. Our highly trained physical therapists can help guide you in the right direction and help get those inflamed tissues to their next phase of healing!

-Elaine Tsay, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT