Rehabilitation massage is often used in animals and humans to promote healing after surgery, illness, injury, or cases of chronic conditions. Rehabilitation massage assists within a rehabilitation programme to help restore normal function. Damage to soft tissue structures like tendons and muscle begin a chain of events to initiate repair. At the stage of inflammation massage can be incorporated to encourage blood flow and stop the formation of adhesions. Rehabilitation massage proves vital to horses that are on box rest. Reduced movement decreases circulation and can slow down the recovery process.
Massage post surgery can reduce the amount of scar tissue that is formed. Scar tissue occurs from a wound or cut from surgery where the tissue is damaged and is mainly superficial. Scar tissue can hinder movement due to the disorganised collagen fibres during healing.