Literally millions suffer from the pain, swelling, or stiffness of arthritis.
Arthritis means joint inflammation and covers many conditions. This
disease can hit at any age, and affects more women than men. The two
forms that predominate are osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Although there is no known cure Therapeutic Massage is one measure that
can slow down the process and allow you to live more comfortably.
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Osteoarthritis is degeneration of the cartilage that cushions and forms a
slick surface for movement in affected joints. It is often the result of years of
normal wear. Advance stages may result in bone grinding against bone.
Symptoms are pain, stiffness in the joints, and inflammation and swelling
Rheumatoid arthritis is an immune system disorder which causes
inflammation in the joint's lining. It can cause damage to cartilage, bone
and other structures around the joints and may cause deformity. Symptoms
include pain, swelling and stiffness of joints.
Why Therapeutic Massage?
Therapeutic massage is especially effective in addressing the most common side effects caused by painful
and stiff joints: muscle tension and poor circulation, and limitation on normal movement and exercise.
Massage helps you to refocus your attention away from the pain of arthritis towards the pleasant sensation
of nurturing touch. Massage stimulates the release of endorphins, your body's natural pain killers, which can
give you a much needed break from pain.
Reduced Muscle Tension:
Muscles will automatically tighten to provide protection around any painful area. Muscle tension limits
movement, range of motion and can be a source of pain itself. Therapeutic massage works directly with
muscles to release tension and serves to calm the nervous system, allowing your muscles to relax further.
Massage has been shown to increase circulation, cleanse tissues of irritating and painful by products of
arthritic inflammation. Massage increases nutrition to both muscles and joints. Swelling will often lessen with
massage as excess fluids are pushed into the circulatory system where it can be eliminated. You will enjoy
improved joint mobility, reduced pain in joints and muscles, and improvement in your body's natural joint
Some precautions to consider
Massage therapy should never cause you pain or discomfort and should stay within your tolerance level at
all times. Extra caution is needed if you are on medications to suppress your symptoms, since this can
interfere with your giving accurate feedback to your massage therapist on pressure or tenderness. If you are
fatigued or sore after a massage, shorter sessions may be more appropriate and useful for you.
During flare-ups of rheumatoid arthritis extreme care should be taken. Many therapist will not massage
during this time and others will work very gently in non-affected areas to relieve tension and improve your
Please keep your massage therapist informed at every session about your symptoms, medications and any
changes in your health. It is important to let your primary health care practitioner know you are receiving