Massage and Arthritis
The pain felt by arthritis sufferers can be debilitating. Depending on the type of arthritis, symptoms can range from joint pain and stiffness to swelling and inflammation in the joints. Because arthritis is such a broad ranging ailment, it is often difficult to figure out the right combination of medication, exercise, and rest to treat it. Massage offers a holistic treatment approach that can have physically and mentally restorative effects on arthritis sufferers.
Ongoing arthritis pain can have a damaging effect on the sufferer’s mental state. The relaxing effect of regular massage has the ability to alleviate tension and help an arthritis sufferer mentally manage the pain.
Massage offers an indirect approach for relief of the physical pain of arthritis. The joint stiffness and swelling associated with arthritis pain may often cause sufferers to sit and stand in unbalanced positions and hold their bodies incorrectly. While massage does not directly help with joint stiffness, it does bring relief and balance to the muscles surrounding joints.
Types of massage to treat arthritis sufferers vary. When muscles and joints are very inflamed, a softer approach is taken with stretching and long, kneading strokes. More aggressive pressure and deeper strokes can be used when symptoms are not as present. As in all massage therapy, it is important to communicate clearly with the massage therapist about any pain or discomfort felt during a massage.
Arthritis is a painful but manageable condition when using a holistic approach to treatment - the right balance of appropriate medication, light physical activity, and stress relieving massage - treating the entire body and not just the pain.
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