Arthritis is usually characterized by inflammation of the joint lining, which generally leads to swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints. Approximately 50 million Americans of all ages, races and genders, suffer from some form of arthritis. Arthritis symptoms range from pain to stiffness to swelling to warmth to severe joint damage, and are the major cause of pain and disability worldwide.
There are various types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the most common. The symptoms and severity of pain depends on arthritis type. Some common causes of arthritis include:
- A breakdown of joint cartilage
- Inflammation of the joint lining
- Autoimmune conditions
If you experience sore or stiff joints in the knees
, lower back, or hips
after overuse or inactivity, you could have osteoarthritis. This condition is also characterized by stiffness after resting that goes away after a few minutes and pain that increases following activity or towards the end of the day.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis usually develop slowly, and can be brought about by a history of joint damage, obesity and age. Pain is usually treated with rest, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medication, and in severe cases, surgery. Massage therapy
for arthritis can provide long lasting relief from stiffness and pain, so you can remain active throughout the day.
Autoimmune arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis, occurs when your immune system accidentally attacks your joints. In patients 16 and under, it is known as Juvenile Arthritis. Symptoms vary from person to person and can change daily, with more severe symptoms, or flares, lasting for months.
Sometimes individuals may experience pain in the small joints of the hand and wrist as well. Rest, exercise and medication is generally recommended to relieve pain. A massage therapist for arthritis can reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
Nearly all arthritis pain is caused by some type of misplaced inflammation. Inflammation occurs when the body releases chemicals into the blood or affected tissues. Some of these chemicals cause fluids to leak in the tissues, which can stimulate the nerves and cause pain. The increased chemicals and blood flow to the area, also stimulates an increase in white blood cells to the joint, which can cause irritation, wearing down of the cartilage and swelling of the joints.How Massage Therapy Can Reduce Severe Arthritis Pain
Massage therapy for arthritis can be an effective replacement for pain medication. Regular treatments have been proven to provide improvements in pain, stiffness, range of motion, hand grip, strength and overall function of the joints, and in some cases, even eliminate more drastic measures, such as surgery.
Pain relief and mobility are imperative to carry out day to day activities. Sometimes, this pain can make it difficult to complete even simple tasks. It can be relieved with massage therapy. There's nothing more frustrating than not being able to participate in the activities that you enjoy. It is much easier to resume your regular activities, once joint pain and stiffness are alleviated.
Sometimes, medication is unable to provide complete relief from arthritis pain. However, complete pain relief is possible with massage therapy. If you find that pain medication is not effective at relieving your pain, or if you are concerned about side effects associated with taking medication, you might want to consider massage therapy as an alternative pain relief treatment.
As an experienced massage therapist, I can help alleviate inflammation as well as lengthen and relax stiff muscles and connective tissue. Arthritis is a musculoskeletal disorder that can affect many parts of the body, and make it hard to stay mobile and active. Massage has been proven to induce relaxation and relieve pain and tension, so you can stay mobile and active throughout your life.
Massage works by stimulating pressure receptors beneath the skin that sends signals to the brain to alleviate pain and release stress reducing neurochemicals such as serotonin. Massages such as the traditional Swedish massage and trigger point massage are great for treating arthritis symptoms.
Swedish massage incorporates long, fluid stroking of the muscle, which is shown to increase relaxation and reduce pain and inflammation, while trigger point massage applies stimulation into myofascial trigger points to provide musculoskeletal relief from pain. Your massage therapist will discuss the best type of massage for you.