Treat arthritis pain with massage therapy

Arthritis is said to affect one in five adults across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although arthritis tends to commonly affect aging adults, men, women and children of all ages can also become afflicted with the condition in certain circumstances. As science and research progresses, many medications and treatments have become available that can ease the pain that is associated with the condition.

One of the most common forms of arthritis treatment is massage therapy. The University of Miami Medical School reports that any full-body massage therapy that utilizes moderate pressure can help relieve arthritis pain and ease tension.

Studies show the importance of moderate pressure, as opposed to light pressure, because it stimulates pressure receptors under the skin. The receptors, which are designed to send signals to the brain, may alleviate the pain a patient is experiencing and produce mood-enhancing neurochemicals like serotonin. Unlike light-pressured massages, moderate pressure reduces both the heart rate and blood pressure.

Before you begin using massage therapy for arthritis treatment, make sure to talk to your rheumatologist to determine if this is the right solution for your unique condition. If your physician permits treatment, make sure to discuss your areas of pain and levels with your massage therapist before your session begins.

Those who suffer from arthritis might benefit from the following types of massage therapy:

Swedish massage: This popular type of massage applies long, continuous strokes to the muscles and tissues to alleviate pain, reduce stiffness, improve blood circulation, and decrease anxiety.

Techniques such as kneading, rhythmic tapping, and vibrating may also be used. Swedish massages are usually focused on the back and shoulders, but it can also be applied to the arms and legs.

Hot stone massage: With this method, smooth, heated stones are placed on your back to bring heat to the muscles and tissues. Adding heat to these areas both releases tension and encourages relaxation. Cold stones can also be used to alleviate sore muscles and reduce swelling.

Myofascial release: Taking an advanced approach to massage therapy, myofascial release targets the fascia-- which is a plural term for the connective tissues around the nerves, blood vessels, and muscles.

By rolling the skin back and forth on the back, legs, and other regions of the body, these connective tissues are stretched and released, as the name implies.

Your Charlotte massage therapist should be able to choose the best treatment for your specific conditions. Angie’s List can help connect you with the right massage therapist.

Not a member yet? Join today for exclusive access, as the list contains ratings and reviews for more than 150 providers in the area.


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