Most people see massage as a luxury that few can afford. For people living with arthritis or related musculoskeletal pain, massage can help manage their condition. Patients who sought out massage for treatment experienced:
Arthritis is commonly known for its effects on the body’s joints, but it can spread beyond that. Rheumatoid arthritis is a systematic disease that can affect your entire body, damage major organs, and eventually shorten your lifespan. One of the most common reasons people pursue massage is for low back and neck pain, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health1. Massage is also sought out by those who are affected by sore joints and muscles, high anxiety or improper sleep schedules.
Massage can lower blood pressure, increase production of the mood-boosting hormone serotonin and lower the body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. Habitually, elevated levels of cortisol produced in response to chronic stress lead to increased risk of developing significant medical conditions such as:
Before booking your next massage, be sure to consult with a doctor first to discuss if massage is right for you. Your doctor may recommend alternative treatment options depending on your arthritis and other health conditions. When you finally get the chance to sit down with a massage therapist, we urge you to communicate with them as well. Like your doctor, a licensed massage therapist will listen to your conditions to provide you a customized experience. Do not hesitate to mention that you have arthritis or that specific joints have been affecting you, as those areas will be treated carefully. Being specific about your pains will allow you to become more comfortable and achieve better results per session.
Therapeutic massage can positively affect all of the physiological systems of a patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which helps to alleviate the effects of the disease2. By incorporating massage into your treatment, you can reduce pain and improve your overall quality of life.
Did you enjoy reading this blog? Want to learn more? Check out the articles below!
Benefits of Massage. (2020). Bernstein, S., & Dunkin, M.A. https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/treatment/complementary-therapies/natural-therapies/benefits-of-massage.
Researching the Effects of Massage Therapy in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis. (2009, May 29). Anderson, R. B. https://www.massagetoday.com/articles/13716/Researching-the-Effects-of-Massage-Therapy-in-Treating-Rheumatoid-Arthritis.
4 Things You Need to Know about Arthritis and Massage Therapy. (2021, January). Arthritis Society. https://arthritis.ca/living-well/optimized-self/exercise-motion/using-massage-therapy-to-treat-arthritis-pain
Vann, M. R., Landau, M. D., & Levine, B. (2021, February 17). How Massage Therapy Helps Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain. EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/treatment/why-you-should-get-a-massage-for-ra-pain-relief/.
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