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Medical Negligence Involving Massage Therapists? What You Should Know

Medical Negligence Involving Massage Therapists? What You Should Know

When most of us think about medical errors or medical negligence, we think about healthcare providers who are licensed to practice traditional forms of medicine, such as physicians, surgeons, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, dentists, and other parties. Yet, in some cases, people can also sustain injuries due to negligence in massage therapy. According to a recent article in Massage Magazine, massage therapy is designed to be safe for people who require massage therapy, but there are various ways that massage therapists can make mistakes that can result in significant injuries for clients. What should you know about the possibility of medical negligence and massage therapy? Consider some of the following information from our New Mexico medical malpractice lawyers.

Understanding Massage Therapy in New Mexico

Massage therapy is generally safe, and many people work with massage therapists regularly for soft-tissue pain and other therapeutic purposes. As the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department explains, individuals who practice massage therapy must be licensed, and they must be professionals in the industry who have been qualified to work as massage therapists through “educational standards” and engaging in “continuing education” requirements. At the same time, it is important to be clear that “massage therapy does not include the diagnosis or treatment of illness or disease.” These healthcare tasks are performed by healthcare providers like doctors and nurses. 

While massage therapists are not traditional health care providers, the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department underscores that massage therapists do provide a “health care service” to clients. Accordingly, it is important to understand how mistakes can result in client injuries during massage therapy sessions.

Some Mistakes are More Common Than Others in Massage Therapy

Generally speaking, certain types of mistakes and injuries are much more common in a massage therapy setting than others. According to the article in Massage Magazine, most client injuries arise from a few different types of errors made by massage therapists:

  • Failing to communicate appropriately with clients; 
  • Inadequately responding to medical information supplied by the client; or
  • Improperly applying massage techniques.

What types of specific injuries result from these mistakes? When a massage therapist does not correctly apply massage therapy techniques or fails to learn about a client’s health record or to respond appropriately to it, the client can suffer serious injuries. Some common types of injuries include but are not limited to:

  • Burn injuries from improper application of hot stone massage therapy;
  • Hematomas due to improper massage techniques or health conditions affecting the client; and
  • Venous thromboembolism following a deep tissue massage, which can be inappropriate for clients with particular conditions or for older clients.

Many other types of injuries can also result from poor communication with clients or negligent application of massage therapy techniques.

Contact a Santa Fe Medical Negligence Lawyer

If you suffered a medical injury after seeing a massage therapist, you could be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit if the injury resulted from the massage therapist’s negligence. One of our experienced Santa Fe medical negligence lawyers can assess your case for you today. Contact Slate Stern Law for more information.