Arthritis produces inflammation which causes extreme joint pain. Although there are over 100 types, osteo and rheumatoid are the most common.
Osteoarthritis 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 massage helps?
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.
It can also help decrease pain, muscle aches or stiffness and provide deep relaxation, allowing for rest and deeper sleep during the night, which can provide better days for work.
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 include essential oils to help relax the mind and relieve muscle soreness and joint pain.
Massage techniques, like Qigong, 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.
Although no arthritis cures exist today, 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 between $45-$85, 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.
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.
Better health with Chiropractic Help
What is Chiropractic and can it help aching joints? Can it relieve headaches and get me off all the drugs I'm swallowing. What are the conditions that Chiropractors treat, and is the treatment painful or dangerous? Is it backed up by solid scientific studies? You'll find straight forward descriptions, written for the layperson, without talking down to you about arthritis.