Managing arthritis pain through massage therapy
[…] While often thought of as a disease that afflicts the elderly, arthritis affects people in all age ranges – and some 53 million Americans suffer from it in one way or another.
There are various signs and symptoms, but the standout is pain: arthritis hurts!
While there is no known cure for arthritis, we do know that massage can help. According to research published by the Massage Therapy Foundation, here are some of the ways massage can benefit someone who has arthritis:
- Reduce pain.
- Improve strength.
- Improve mobility, flexibility and range of motion.
- Reduce stress (and since stress exacerbates pain, this also helps in pain relief).
Many of these benefits can be felt in just a single session with a skilled practitioner, or even with self-massage. And, of course, regular, ongoing sessions with a professional massage therapist will usually yield the most powerful results.
Massage is not appropriate for every case of arthritis – it shouldn’t be done when the pain and inflammation is severely flared up, and some forms of arthritis need to be treated in different ways. Clients with arthritis are advised to speak with their doctor about receiving massage. But, generally speaking, massage can help.
All bodies are susceptible to wear and tear and the ravages of the years, but that doesn’t mean we have to patiently endure pain. Our quality of life is closely tied to how well we move, and therefore to the health of our joints.
If you or a loved one, young or old, have arthritis pain, consult your doctor and then seek the assistance of a qualified massage therapist.
by William Mathis, an instructor at the National Holistic Institute