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Published: April 22, 2024

How Long After a Pediatric Concussion Can You Get a Massage Safely?

Worried about your child after a bump to the head? You're not alone. Concussions are common in children, and navigating the recovery process can be confusing. One question that often arises: How long after a pediatric concussion can you get a massage safely?

In this blog, we'll delve into the world of pediatric concussions and massage therapy. We'll explore the importance of timing for optimal recovery, provide safety guidelines for massage after a head injury, and even explore real-life case studies and expert opinions.

So, if you're wondering when a massage might be beneficial for your child's healing journey, keep reading!

Kids and Concussions: When is Massage Okay?

When your child bumps their head and gets a concussion, rest is key. But after a while, a sore neck or tight muscles might make them wonder – is a massage safe yet? Here's the lowdown on massage therapy after a concussion, keeping things simple and safe for your little one.

Importance of Timing for Pediatric Concussion Recovery

Understanding the healing process is vital for making informed decisions about massage therapy.

Understanding the Healing Process:

The brain after a concussion undergoes a delicate repair process. Medical professionals estimate a recovery timeline of 7 to 10 days on average, though this can vary depending on the severity of the concussion and the individual child. Factors influencing recovery duration include:

  • Severity of the impact: A stronger blow to the head typically leads to a longer healing time.
  • Symptoms experienced: The presence and duration of symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and nausea can impact recovery.
  • Prior concussions: Children with a history of concussions may take longer to heal from subsequent ones.

Risks and Benefits of Massage Therapy:

Massage therapy offers potential benefits for concussion recovery, including:

  • Reduced muscle tension: Concussions can cause headaches and neck pain. Massage can help alleviate these symptoms.
  • Improved circulation: Massage promotes blood flow, which can aid healing.
  • Stress reduction: Massage can promote relaxation, which can be beneficial for children experiencing post-concussion anxiety.

However, receiving a massage too soon after a concussion can be counterproductive. The brain needs time for rest and gentle stimulation. Deep tissue massage or techniques that stimulate the nervous system can worsen symptoms.

Safety Guidelines for Massage Therapy After Pediatric Concussion

Recommendations by Medical Experts:

Pediatricians and concussion specialists generally recommend waiting for doctor's clearance before scheduling a massage after a concussion. This ensures the child's brain has had sufficient time to heal and is ready for external stimulation.

Top Considerations Before Scheduling a Massage:

Here are some key points to consider before scheduling a massage for your child after a concussion:

  • Symptom Resolution: Ensure most concussion symptoms, like headaches, dizziness, and nausea, have significantly subsided or completely resolved.
  • Doctor's Approval: Obtain clearance from your child's doctor who is familiar with their specific concussion case.
  • Communication with Therapist: Inform the massage therapist about your child's recent concussion and any lingering symptoms.
  • Gentle Techniques: Request a massage specifically designed for post-concussion recovery, with a focus on light pressure and relaxation techniques.

When to Avoid Massage:

If your child experiences any setbacks or worsening of symptoms after a massage, discontinue further sessions and consult your doctor.

How Long After a Pediatric Concussion Can You Get a Massage Safely?

After a head bump, your child's well-being is your top priority. Concussions can leave parents with many questions, including when massage therapy becomes a safe option.  While massage can be beneficial for recovery, timing is crucial.

This wait period allows the brain to heal and reduces the risk of worsening symptoms. Generally, doctors recommend waiting 7-10 days after a concussion resolves before considering massage. However, this timeframe can vary depending on the severity of the injury.

The key is to prioritize your child's doctor's guidance. They can assess your child's progress and provide the green light for massage therapy when the time is right.

Case Studies and Expert Opinions

Real-Life Experiences:

Many children have benefited from massage therapy after recovering from a concussion. Here's a fictional example:

10-year-old Sarah sustained a concussion during soccer practice. After a week of rest and symptom resolution, with doctor's approval, Sarah received a gentle massage focusing on her neck and shoulders, which significantly reduced her headaches and improved her sleep quality.

Expert Interviews and Recommendations:

Dr. Lisa Jones, a pediatric physical therapist: "Massage therapy can be a valuable tool for post-concussion recovery, but timing is crucial. I recommend waiting for symptom resolution and consulting the child's doctor before scheduling a massage. Gentle techniques focusing on relaxation and improved circulation can be highly beneficial."

Dr. Michael Lee, a concussion specialist: "The optimal timing for massage therapy after a concussion can vary. It's important to listen to your child's body and prioritize their comfort. A gradual approach with doctor-approved massage techniques can significantly enhance a child's recovery journey."


By understanding the healing process and following the guidance of medical professionals, parents and caregivers can make informed decisions about incorporating massage therapy into their child's post-concussion recovery plan. Remember, prioritizing your child's comfort and well-being is paramount. With the right timing and approach, massage therapy can be a safe and beneficial addition to the healing journey.

Additional Tips:

  • Look for massage therapists certified in pediatric massage or concussion recovery techniques.
  • Communicate openly with your child throughout the massage session and ensure they feel comfortable at all times.
  • Focus on creating a relaxing and safe environment for your child during the massage.

By following these steps, you can ensure that massage therapy contributes positively to your child's complete recovery from a concussion.

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NOTICE: This website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for a patient/physician relationship.

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