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Can Massage Therapy Help Arthritis?

People suffering from arthritis are often looking for relief from their pain. Pain medication is a less than ideal solution, especially because it is addictive. You may be wondering if massage therapy can be a good alternative for pain relief.

Massage therapy can often provide pain relief, but you need an experienced massage therapist who knows how to deal with arthritis. The providers at Beeson Wellness Center explain more about how massage therapy may help with your arthritis.

What types of arthritis massage therapy can help

Many patients with arthritis find that massage therapy can provide some pain relief. According to the Arthritis Foundation, nearly one in five adults has had a massage in the past year, with 42% of them doing so for health reasons. 

Getting a massage is believed to affect the body’s production of hormones associated with pain, stress, and anxiety. This won’t likely come as a surprise if you have had a massage and know about how relaxing the experience can be.

But a massage is about more than just a feeling of relaxation. Studies summarized by the Arthritis Foundation found that massage therapy can reduce pain for knee osteoarthritis and hand arthritis, as well as providing relief for back pain and fibromyalgia.

How massage therapy benefits arthritis

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases reports that massage therapy performed by a registered massage therapist can decrease pain and improve flexibility in the muscles, joints, and tendons.

Improving flexibility is key for treating arthritis because it also increases your ability to exercise without pain. Exercising is essential when you have arthritis because it prevents your muscles from getting stiff from lack of use. You need the increased flexibility to improve your range of motion so that you can perform the exercises without pain and stiffness.

Massage therapy can help multiple types of arthritis

The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which affects millions of people around the world. It often occurs as a result of aging, as the cartilage around your joints begins to wear away. This type of arthritis often responds well to massage therapy.

Another type of arthritis is called rheumatoid arthritis, which is less common. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder, which affects the joints as well as other parts of the body like the skin, eyes, and lungs. It’s an autoimmune condition, which means that the body attacks itself for reasons that aren’t well understood or easy to control.

However, people with rheumatoid arthritis can also often benefit from massage therapy, just like people with osteoarthritis can. The one caution is not to get a massage while you’re experiencing a flare-up of your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, as this could cause more pain.

Why massage therapy is a good treatment for arthritis

Arthritis of any type tends to be chronic, meaning that you’ll likely experience pain and stiffness on a regular basis. Most doctors just prescribe pain pills to treat the pain, which is less than ideal for several reasons. The risk of addiction and dependence is one of the largest reasons to avoid relying on pills.

Regenerative medicine believes that the body can heal in many cases, usually without the use of drugs. Massage therapy is one example of a drug-free solution that can keep you feeling well. 

If you have arthritis and would like to learn more about how massage therapy can help you, we would love to talk with you. Call the providers at Beeson Wellness Center today, or request an appointment online.

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