Arthritis can be painful and chronic. Presently, the cause of arthritis remains a mystery, although some believe it is caused by the cartilage breaking down. Anyways, there are certain risk factors that cause arthritis. Arthritis is the inflammation of joints which results in stiffness, pain, swelling and restricted movement. Arthritis patients need to find a solution in the earlier stages so they can control the pain, inflammation, and swelling long term. This is very important because there is no cure for arthritis; however, one can prevent the condition from getting worse once you take the bold step of finding a way to control the disease. And, one of those ways could be massage therapy.
Arthritis pain management is possible to achieve in a number of ways, including eating correctly, getting enough sleep, taking daily exercise, reducing your stress, and massage therapy. Massage therapy can be a great way to alleviate arthritis pain. The use of massage in the treatment of arthritis continues to increase the effects of the treatments is validated. Already, the use of massage in the treatment of arthritis is being recommended by the medical establishment as an efficient and less invasive method of therapy for arthritis. One major benefit of massage is the relief that comes with the therapy, such relief helpful in eliminating the need for anti-inflammatory products. A massage can soothe stiff muscles, reduce inflammation, and bring pain relief. As muscles tension is relaxed, pain is decreased and circulation is increased!
Gentle stretching incorporated with massage can help maintain and improve range of motion for your joints. Massage therapy will also reduce swelling and relax muscle tension to help decrease pain. When administered by a professional masseuse, massage therapy can bring improve joint movement, stimulate blood flow, and provide the nutrients that is needed by the underlying tissues. Massage therapy can also bring relaxation and warmth to stressed and swollen joints. However, arthritis patients are advised to seek the counsel of a massage therapist.
A massage therapist can also give you advice on effective stretching techniques, activities, and habits on how to prevent injury and pain. Although, arthritis patients find it difficult to undergo a massage therapy; yet, they should try to stay positive and keep up with their task. The severity of the ailment will determine the nature of exercises.
MASSAGE TECHNIQUES USE ON ARTHRITIS PATIENTS
There are many different techniques used by massage therapists to relieve arthritis pain. Some of them are shiatsu, reflexology, Swedish massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, and deep tissue massage. Patients should be aware of the side effect of massage, especially for hand and wrist pain.
In trigger point therapy, the masseuse uses concentrated finger pressure on knots of pain or tension in the body.
Kneading your palm with fingers and thumb can help to relieve muscle cramps. This increases blood flow to the fingers, making joints less stiff.
Acupressure and Shiatsu massage are techniques that use pressure points on throbbing areas and other specific parts of the body. Similar to acupuncture, acupressure uses the same points that are stimulated in acupuncture. Tiny acupuncture needles may be placed in every area from your arms to your legs down to your toe. This doesn’t have to scare you as the session only lasts for about 5 minutes to a half an hour. However, arthritis patients may require multiple sessions depending on the severity of the ailment.
Stroking is another massage technique that can be effective for arthritis patients. Massage therapists press their hand firmly down the length of a muscle to relieve tension. Many companies employ “workplace massage” as a quick way to relieve the stresses of office work.
Myofascial release massage involves long strokes that stretch the body and release tension in the fascia – which is the connective tissue around the muscles.
Deep tissue massage uses slow strong pressure to get through the deeper layers of muscle tissue. Its main goal is releasing tissues. However, it has a few side effects such as soreness and some minor discomfort.
You can familiarize yourself with other basic massage techniques by reading books and searching online. Other relaxation techniques aside from massage can also be helpful in dealing with arthritis. Just remember this rule; do not massage swollen areas painfully; use some oil or lotion and go gently on it.
BENEFITS OF MASSAGE FOR ARTHRITIS
- Deep muscle and tissue relaxation
- Feeling better overall
- Reduces nervousness
- Lowers blood pressure
- Increases blood circulation
- Enhances mental and spiritual awareness
- Fewer aching muscles
- More flexibility of muscles
- Less stiffness in the joints
- Body balance
- Reduces stress
- Less pain and inflammation
- Releases toxins from the body
- Relieves tension and pain
Aromatherapy is an aspect of massage therapy that involved the use of essential oils. Aromatic plants like rosemary, lavender, and sage provide essential oils for massage usage to alleviate pain, discomfort, swelling, and relaxation. So, ensure that you consult your massage therapist as he knows what’s best for you. If you have any allergies, let your massage therapist know before they attempt new oils during your next session.
NOTE: Immobilizing your joints will only make it stiffer which will increase your pain levels. Try to avoid this in order to keep the blood circulation flowing.
More importantly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a healthy diet is an important part of dealing with arthritis pain. Treating arthritis is about building a stronger immune system; therefore, avoiding foods that may trigger this disease to occur is vital. For those who have been experiencing symptoms of arthritis, pay attention to the foods that may aggravate your condition.