Massage Therapy Helps Relieve Pain for Osteoarthritis
Arthritis is a general term for a group of painful conditions that involve inflammation and stiffness of the joints. The different types of arthritis can occur in any joint in the body, including the hands, shoulders, knees, hips, and ankles. Chronic arthritic pain and osteoarthritis respond well to massage. If you’re looking for a way to relieve the pain, massage relaxes the muscles surrounding the joints, releasing stiffness and allowing for a better range of motion and mobility. Learn more about the benefits of an Rx massage for chronic joint issues like osteoarthritis. Remember – our Rx Massage therapists work with your PT when you need them to in order to maximize the healing and pain relief you are seeking and to achieve the maximum benefits you deserve.
Massage therapy is an alternative treatment used to relieve pain. There are more than 80 types of massage therapy, in which practitioners manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues using varied techniques.
Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage between your joints wears away, causing pain and stiffness. Trained therapists can help relieve osteoarthritis joint pain by relaxing the surrounding muscles and other soft tissues and releasing stiffness.
If you are interested in exploring massage therapy as a possible treatment for osteoarthritis, discuss your plans with your doctor.
About Massage Therapy
Massage therapists mostly use their hands and fingers—although some therapists also use their forearms, elbows, or even their feet—to manipulate the patient’s soft tissues. Soft tissues are those that support and surround body structures and include muscle, fat, tendons, and ligaments. The amount of pressure used and the direction of movement differ among therapists and the area being massaged.
The goal of massage therapy is to relax muscles and other soft tissues, increase the blood and oxygen being delivered to the massaged area, warm the affected area, and relieve pain.
Some of the best-known types of massage include:
- Swedish massage: The therapist focuses on using long strokes, kneading, and friction on the muscles. Joints are moved to promote flexibility.
- Deep tissue massage: The therapist uses deep finger pressure, focusing on muscles that are tight or knotted.
- Trigger point massage: The therapist focuses pressure on trigger points in myofascial tissue (the tough membranes that wrap, connect, and support muscles) and uses other strokes as well. Trigger points represent a source of radiating pain.
- Shiatsu massage: The therapist applies rhythmic pressure with their fingers to body parts linked to vital energy, called qi.
A massage therapy session usually lasts 30–60 minutes, though some sessions may be shorter or longer. Chronic pain patients often are advised to complete a series of sessions.
Depending on the location of the muscles being massaged, you may either be seated for a chair massage or you may be asked to lie on a padded table. Typically, oil or powder is used to allow the therapists’ hands to glide over your skin.
Risks Regarding Massage Therapy
Certain precautions must be taken before getting massage therapy. Though there are few serious risks, there are certain individuals who should not get massage therapy.
People with the following conditions are not suitable candidates for massage therapy:
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot)
- Bleeding disorders or those taking a blood thinner
- Damaged blood vessels
- Osteoporosis (weak and brittle bones)
- Recent fractures (broken bones)
- Open wounds
- Damaged nerves
- Infection and inflammation in the area to be massaged
Additionally, anyone with recent surgery should not get a massage. If you have a skin condition (either infectious, like warts, or noninfectious, like psoriasis) that could be aggravated by touch or pressure, massage is not recommended for you.
If you are pregnant, have cancer, have fragile skin, heart problems, dermatomyositis (a rare disease causing muscle inflammation and a rash), or a history of physical abuse, discuss massage therapy with your doctor before signing up.
Researchers are still studying the effects of massage therapy on health conditions. It is clear, though, that massage therapy promotes relaxation while reducing stress, which can help with chronic joint issues like osteoarthritis.
Due to the popularity of massage therapy, it is important that you check out the credentials of your massage therapist. Physical therapists also are trained in massage therapy. Know your therapist! Ask questions that will ensure your safety.
If you’re looking for pain relief, enhanced healing, relaxation, decreased stress, and a sense of well-being, you’d better book your next Rx Massage session. Rx Massage CA offers certified therapists and a relaxing environment. Schedule your appointment with us today at (949) 336-1089 and join our Facebook community.