What is Arthritis and How Can Massage Therapy Help

What is Arthritis and How Can Massage Therapy Help

The “What” About Arthritis:

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition of any joint in the body. There are hundreds of types of arthritis. Some are caused simply by wear & tear and aging such as Osteoarthritis or by autoimmune conditions (your own immune system attacking your joints) known as Rheumatoid Arthritis. In addition conditions as varied as gout to Lyme disease can cause arthritic conditions. The symptom picture is characterized by:

  • Swelling, joint stiffness and an ache around the joint
  • Difficulty doing activities of daily living; walking, typing, using utensils etc.
  • Achy muscles at or around joints point tenderness.
  • Having a hard time moving the joint in its normal planes of motion.

Millions of people suffer from varying forms of arthritic conditions; some minor nuances to complete debilitations. It’s important to talk to your doctor if you suspect you have arthritis, they will most likely order x-rays or other scans to confirm. Once diagnosed and seeking secondary interventions like Massage Therapy, it’s important you inform your therapist about what your doctor recommends and any drugs you are taking.

What Massage Therapy Can Do for Arthritis:

Typically your doctor will recommend using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to control symptoms and reduce inflammation. Massage Therapy is considered a secondary intervention and should help with symptom relief. Typically, massage can help reduce some of the achy muscle tension, promote generalized relaxation, promote an increase in joint mobility and reduce overall pain. Joints in the human body are highly innervated (lots of nerves), particularly with pain receptors.

What Your RMT Will Do During a Treatment for Your Arthritic Symptoms:

Your RMT will assess you and your chief areas of complaints, typically by performing various ranges of motion and / orthopedic tests. This is done to plan with you the best approaches for the treatment. Typically, the RMT will employ the following techniques:

  • Some form of heat therapy – heat is soothing, but also helps promote local blood flow.
  • Varying depths of pressure to address some deep layers of tissue.
  • Manipulation of soft tissues that surrounds the body.
  • Some gentle joint movements and stretching.

Most people find that after their treatment their pain is reduced, their sleep is better and an improve in the range of motion is noticed. Therapists will leave the client with home care exercises and tips.

What you can do day to day for arthritis:

  • Apply heat therapy to affected areas – hot baths, heating pads, hot water bottles etc.
  • Exercise – Gentle forms of exercise like swimming are not weight bearing and wouldn’t put additional strain on your joints.
  • Leading a generalized healthy lifestyle – including diet, water intake, managing stress and sleep; Compromising any of those components can lead to a pro-inflammatory response in the body, thus more pain.

Gesund takes a team-oriented approach for our patients – Along with Massage Therapy we offer Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, and Naturopathic Medicine. Book an appointment online or call to find out how we can help.

Be well, be gesund

Jeffrey Freeman

Registered Massage Therapist

Questions? Email: [email protected], or book your massage therapy appointment right here.

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