Arthritis is a degenerative disease that causes inflammation and deterioration of the joints. While it does not have a true cure, many measures, especially natural measures, can reduce the symptoms and progression of arthritis, as well as some of the other conditions that come with the disease. Here are some ways that massage therapy can assist with this common and debilitating condition.
Massage therapy can help improve sleep cycles, and in patients with arthritis this is highly beneficial. The pain and discomfort of the disease often interrupts normal sleep, and less sleep makes pain worse. Regular massage treatment can help improve sleep.
Reduce the Deteriorating Effects of The Disease
Consistent massage therapy treatment has been shown in studies to reduce the speed at which the joints affected by arthritis deteriorate. In one particular study, a patient with rheumatoid arthritis in the shoulder, forearm and index finger received 8 massage therapy sessions. At the end of the study, the patient reported a great reduction in pain levels. She also reported no need to take pain medication. While these results may or may not be typical, they do show that massage therapy can be an effective treatment option for some people with arthritis.
Being in pain is automatically a stressor. Patients with chronic arthritis live in a stressful state. Massage therapy treatment reduces stress, which then can lower inflammation throughout the body and reduce some of the symptoms of the disease.
Improved Range of Motion
Arthritis can make joints stiff, and this can limit range of motion. Massage therapy can gently reduce that stiffness to improve the range of motion for patients struggling with this disease.
Improved Blood Flow
Improved blood flow to joints affected by arthritis can help limit the effects of the disease and the inflammation it causes. Massage therapy encourages better blood flow throughout the body.
If you are struggling with arthritis, finding a massage therapist who has experience with patients who have this condition can mean relief. While a gentler approach is needed for arthritic patients, with the right therapist, you can enjoy reduced pain, less stress and better sleep.