Arthritis and How Massage Can Help
Although there are over 100 types, osteo and rheumatoid are the most common.
Osteo is a degenerative disease which often effects weight-bearing joints like hips and knees.
Rheumatoid is an autoimmune disease which causes inflammation primarily in the hands and feet, but can also cause pain in other joints of the body.
How does massage help?
Massage therapy is used to ease symptoms of inflammation and improve quality of life by helping to increase circulation to the joints, which increases flexibility and movement.
A massage therapist familiar with joint pain issues and the benefits of massage understands the physiology of the joint. The massage concentrates on joints, but the overall goal is relaxation, which can help reduce symptoms also.
Some therapists recommend (and some even sell) Biofreeze Pain Relieving Roll On Gel which is well known for relieving the pain and stiffness of arthritis. It gives long-lasting relief and can be used up to 4 times per day.
Massage techniques, Clinical Massage, are used to stretch the muscles and restore flexibility, but they also encourages the body to release endorphins, our body’s natural mood enhancers and pain killers.
Due to stress and other lifestyle factors, hormone balance in the body can get out of kilter and result in unhealthy consequences. Joint disorders, illness, poor immune system, and other diseases can be some of those consequences.
Massage therapy is a “non-drug” therapy that can relieve the pain, increase ease of movement and improve range of motion. Discomfort can be greatly reduced by gentle kneading and stretching of the muscles around the joint.
How much does it cost?
A bodywork session will typically cost S$100, depending on which therapist you choose and where they are located.
This is a great video about hand massage for joint pain:
This book, Condition-Specific Massage Therapy teaches how to massage clients with joint pain, as well as many other medical conditions. It discusses safety precautions and treatment goals for all different types of medical problems.
According to a study performed in 2006, reports indicate that massage can help reduce the pain and frequency of muscle spasms due to joint issues,
but massage also helps your body to produce endorphins which lower pain symptoms and decrease depression, sometimes associated with joint disorders.
Another study also performed in 2006 at The Touch Research Institute in Miami, showed that regular massage decreased symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain. It also showed patients had a better ability to grip and better movement.
Again, the more regular you can get massage, the better. Starting with one session per week is great. Then, after a month or so, move to once every two weeks to get the most benefits from massage therapy for your joints and pain level.
Be sure to ask if the massage therapist has experience working with patients who have joint disorders. Some deep tissue massage techniques could be detrimental to arthritis.
- The Magic of Massage Therapy (everydayhealth.com)
- Massage: A Therapy for Pain Management (joyofspa.com)
- Apprehensive about Massage Therapy (rhvillegas.wordpress.com)
- Swedish Massage Could Lower Stress Hormone Cortisol: Study (huffingtonpost.com)
- Achy Joints – Is It Arthritis or Something Else? (coreconnexxions.wordpress.com)
- How to relieve joint pain and stiffness (simplysupplementsblog.com)
- Hot and Cold Therapy for Arthritis Joint Pain (everydayhealth.com)
- Myths and Facts About Joint Pain (everydayhealth.com)