Currently, there are around 12,000 massage therapists working throughout the state of Washington to help the more than 7 million residents of the state find relief from the pain or discomfort associated with injuries, anxiety, and stress. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for massage therapist in Washington is $62,520, making it one of the highest-paying states for massage therapists across the country. The cities with the highest demand for massage therapists in the Evergreen State include, in no particular order, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Olympia, and Kennewick. Read on to learn about the current career outlook for massage therapist in Seattle and Washington State.
Demand and Career Outlook for Massage Therapists in Washington
According to the BLS, the state of Washington has the fourth highest demand for massage therapists across the U.S, and consistently posts high employment figures for massage therapists. In fact, the BLS projects the demand for massage therapists in the Evergreen State to grow by more than 40% over the next decade, leading to a shortage of massage therapists throughout the Evergreen State. Additionally, it could cause wages for massage therapists to rise, making the state and its cities, including Seattle, even more attractive for massage therapists.
Career Opportunities in Seattle
As mentioned earlier, Seattle is one of the best cities for massage therapist, not only in Washington State, but also across the entire country. This is because of several reasons. For starters, Seattle is a great place to set up a freelance massage therapy operation. For example, you can set up a mobile massage therapy operation, allowing you to make home and office visits. Secondly, if you decide to join the ranks of employed massage therapists in Seattle, Seattle offers numerous job opportunities for massage therapists. Some of these opportunities include:
• in-home aid and other personal care services career opportunities
• being the massage therapist in a team of health practitioners
• recreation and amusement facilities including spas and high-end hotels
• health facilities including long-term rehabilitation care facilities and hospitals
• working as a massage therapists for a sports team, such as the Seattle Mariners or Seattle Seahawks
Washington Massage Therapy Licensure Requirements
To work legally as massage therapist in Washington and Seattle, you must be licensed by the state’s department of health. The licensure requirements include, among others, completing 500 hours or more from a state-approved massage therapy program as well as taking and passing a national massage licensing exam.
The state of Washington is a great place for massage therapists looking to start and grow their careers, with the BLS projecting the demand for massage therapist in the state to grow by more than 40% over the next decade, potentially translating to higher wages. Some of the highest-paying cities for massage therapist in the Evergreen State include Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and Kennewick.
To learn more about the career outlook as a massage therapist contact our Seattle Massage School Campus
Our sister massage school Seattle Clinical Massage School can also offer additional information about attending massage therapy school in Seattle.
IT Band Syndrome
Did you know that engaging in activities that involve repetitive flexing and extending of knees can cause iliotibial band syndrome? Well, studies show that walking long distances, cycling and athletics, among others are some of the contributing factors. As a nurse, physical therapist, fitness coach or yoga instructor, you will always encounter clients with IT band injuries. According to experts, incorporating massage therapy with conventional treatment is one of the best approaches to manage IT band syndrome.
What Is IT Band Syndrome?
The IT band is a thick connective tissue that originates from the pelvic bone and extends laterally to the shinbone. The fibrous band works with hip muscles to stabilize lateral movements of the hip and knee. However, overworking the connective tissue with activities that require repetitive knee flexion and extension causes IT band syndrome. The overuse movements create friction between the band and the lateral femoral epicondyle, thus, causing discomfort when exercising, or moving. Signs and symptoms of IT band syndrome include:
- Patient reports feeling an irritating pain along the lateral side of the hip and the femoral epicondyle during motion.
- There is notable inflammation and swelling on the outer part of the knee.
- Slight pain is felt at the beginning of an exercise and increases with intensity as the activity progresses.
- Pain in the gluteal region caused by overstretching gluteus muscles.
- Experiencing a popping pain that results from the rubbing of IT band against your knee during movement.
- Tenderness on the lateral femoral and tibia epicondyles upon palpation
Diagnosing the IT Band Syndrome
Despite causing knee pain, iliotibial band syndrome is not the only cause of knee discomfort. Before making your diagnosis, ensure you take a history of the client’s complaints and their daily activities. Usually, the iliotibial band syndrome affects people who engage in activities that put a constant strain on the knees. A client who reports being a runner, bicyclist, hiker or athlete might be a candidate of iliotibial band syndrome.
After taking the history, the next essential step is to conduct a comprehensive physical assessment to determine the precise effected location. You can use some tests such as Noble’s test to assess for pain in the lateral femoral condyle. Additionally, using an Ober’s test will assist you in examining the IT band for tightness. A comprehensive physical examination will give you an insight on areas that need massage therapy; to determine the appropriate techniques for myofascial release.
Managing IT Band Contracture Syndrome with Massage Therapy
As a professional health worker, ensure that massage therapy is in your to-do interventions for iliotibial band syndrome. Offering a massage along with traditional treatment has proved to be effective in enhancing recovery from the IT band syndrome. Below are the benefits of massaging your patients:
- Relieve Lateral Leg Pain
In most cases, it’s a nagging pain resulting from IT band overuse that forces patients to seek professional intervention. Performing myofascial release massage on the lateral side of the effected leg relaxes the fibrous band and muscles from tension — thus alleviating the pain.
- Promote Healing
Nowadays, unique massage techniques aim to not only relieve pain but also to promote tissue healing. Addressing trigger points and hypertonicities of the leg muscles enhances blood circulation. Improved tissue perfusion allows delivery of oxygen and nutrients to enhance the healing of the injured tissues.
- Restore flexibility and Improve Mobility
A patient who is suffering from IT band syndrome often complains of inability to move comfortably. Massage therapy resolves muscle stiffness and tenderness, therefore refining motion and flexibility. Therefore, after several sessions, your patient will be able to resume daily activities with ease.
- Improve Posture
When the pain is intense, most people adopt bad postures in response to the discomfort. As a massage therapist, you are equipped with unique skills to resolve tension and inflammation of the effected regions. The relaxation and flexibility of the leg enable the patients to assume their normal and healthy posture.
- Alleviate Stress and Anxiety
Besides enhancing physical fitness, massage treatment helps to relieve the body from stress. Reduced anxiety in patients with IT band syndrome promotes healing and improves their emotional well-being.
What is the prognosis of Iliotibial Band Syndrome?
Typically, if you utilize the right treatment modalities, the prognosis of IT band friction syndrome is excellent. For optimum results, it is crucial to use a multifaceted approach when treating patients. Whether you are a nurse, physical therapist, or a fitness coach, integrating massage therapy with conventional treatment will yield a positive outcome.
Ultimately, adding massage therapy to your healthcare profession not only improves healthcare delivery to your clients but also makes you indispensable. Want to learn more about managing IT band syndrome with massage therapy? Contact our Seattle massage therapy schools today to discuss your massage career and educational options in Seattle, Tacoma, or Bellingham.
I addition you can also contact our partner massage therapy school; Seattle Clinical Massage School for information about a massage therapy career in Seattle, Washington.