Arthritis is a painful condition that often affects the hands, knees and other joints. Sufferers experience symptoms that range from just annoying to severely debilitating. The good news is that there are things you can do to ease the discomfort caused by arthritis and even help prevent its onset. One of these is massage therapy. Arthritis is characterized by joint inflammation caused by a type of stress hormone. While it most often occurs in the knuckles, wrists, knees, and spine, it can manifest anywhere in the body. In some of these areas, localized swelling is the result of excess fluid, which in turn impedes circulation. There is often discomfort and limited motion in the affected area. The disease may be associated with frozen shoulder syndrome, carpal tunnel, hip tension, and sciatica or pain between the vertebrae. Along with its growing popularity in pain management, massage therapy is also gaining recognition as an effective medication-free treatment for arthritis. Massage accomplishes this in two ways: by loosening up the joints, and by improving circulation.
Thai Massage and Arthritis Thai massage is a type of full bodywork that improves joint flexibility and mobility. During the session, the massage therapist stretches and applies light pressure on the limbs and joints (legs, arms, hips, etc.). It is a great modality to use for easing arthritis that affect large areas (shoulders, hips, etc.).
Hand and Feet Massage Therapy If you’re suffering from arthritis on your hands and feet, you don’t need to get a full body massage in order to see benefits.
A shorter session focusing on just the outer extremities will still give you relief from pain and inflammation. Arthritis in the hands and feet is accompanied by fluid backup, which causes pain in the affected joints. The massage therapist thus uses light pressure, and a combination of circular and long movements, to relieve this backup and improve circulation.
Frequency of Massage Therapy for Arthritis Relief You will experience relief from arthritis pain even after just one session of massage therapy. But, in order to maximize the benefits, it’s best to get a massage on a regular basis. A recommended frequency is once a week for a month, followed by a session once every 4-6 weeks. Over time, you will experience less pain, less stiffness, better hand grip, and increased range of motion. As with any medical condition, consult with your doctor about seeing a massage therapist for your arthritis. You will also want to inform your therapist about your condition, so that she can customize your session according to your needs. The best way to help prevent and/or reduce arthritis is through physical activity. However, not all of us are able to frequently engage in activities that ensure that our joints are healthy. For the more sedentary among us, or as a complement to physical activity for those who maintain active lifestyles, regular massage therapy is a great way to reduce and prevent arthritis pain and inflammation. Contact me to schedule your massage session today.