Many people associate getting a massage with a spa getaway or luxury vacation. But did you know that massage therapy can help people who experience joint pain caused by arthritis and other joint-related conditions?
Regular massage of muscles and joints can result in a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis, according to University of Miami School of Medicine researchers. This institution conducted a variety of studies on the benefits of massage, especially for people with arthritis. The study findings were promising. Here are five reasons massage therapy might be a good option for those who struggle with joint pain:
- According to the Arthritis Foundation, therapeutic massage can help people with hand and wrist arthritis. A study conducted in 2006 found that participants who had one 15-minute, moderate pressure massage each day experienced less pain and improved grip strength, as measured on pre- and post- massage therapy tests. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, when massage is provided by a trained professional, it can help control pain, increase joint range of motion, and improve muscle and tendon flexibility.
- Massage also seems to help people who suffer from anxiety related to having a painful condition. In 2010, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center studied healthy adults who had just one Swedish massage therapy session. They discovered that participants’ levels of key hormones and white blood cells were positively affected. Although the exact mechanism by which massage improves anxiety is unknown, studies have found massage reduces anxiety related to certain painful conditions.
- Therapeutic massage also benefits people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A 2007 study presented at the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) National Convention, found that therapeutic massage treatments can positively affect the physiological systems of a person with RA. Massage also help alleviate and prolong the deteriorating effects of the disease. What’s more, 2013 study findings suggest that patients with RA of the upper limbs benefited from moderate pressure massage therapy.
- Several studies suggest that therapeutic massage promotes more restful sleep. According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), a 2007 study found that massage therapy participants, compared to a group who did not receive massage, reported they experienced less pain, depression, anxiety and a major improvement in sleep. Because massage can help reduce arthritis-related pain, it also promotes stress reduction and more restful sleep.
- If your knees ache due to osteoarthritis, massage therapy might help improve your pain. A recent study revealed that weekly, 60-minute massage sessions reduced symptoms of pain and improved mobility for people with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Duke University researchers found that weekly, full-body massage sessions help improve joint mobility and alleviate pain caused by OA.
Talk to Your Doctor First
If you have a joint condition, be sure to speak with your doctor before you schedule any type of massage. Also use caution when considering massage if you have the following conditions:
- Damaged joints
- Flare of inflammation, a fever or skin rash
- Severe osteoporosis (brittle bones)
- High blood pressure
- Varicose veins
Always have a conversation with your massage therapist before your visit. Tell the massage therapist about your arthritis, and which areas of your body are most affected by pain or arthritis, and any other health conditions. Remember that massage does not replace your medical treatment plan. Talk with your doctor and massage therapist before your visit so that you can be sure massage is the best course of action for you and your joint-related condition.
Contact Flexogenix for a Consultation
As you get older, it’s even more critical to take good care of your joint health. Flexogenix® offers nonsurgical treatment options so you can avoid risky surgical procedures and enjoy your active lifestyle. Call today to schedule a consultation, where you can learn more about nonsurgical treatment options that will help you manage joint pain.