Arthritis can affect people of all ages, and figures show that women are more prone to it than men are. While there is no cure for the disease, there are ways to ease the pain and distress that it can cause. Massage is one of the most popular relief measures used by arthritis sufferers.
There are two common types of arthritis. These are:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis is often referred to simply as RA. It is an immune disorder that affects the joints by causing recurring and persistent inflammation. The hands, wrists, and feet are the most commonly affected areas of the body. Sufferers can often go on to struggle with damage to the bones and cartilage that surround the joints. The symptoms of RA are stiffness, swelling, and pain around the joints. Some people also have flu-like symptoms such as a fever when RA flares up.
- Osteoarthritis: The second most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which involves the degeneration of the cartilage around the joints. It affects the movement of joints and it can develop as a result of an injury or from natural wear and tear on aging joints. This problem can affect the hips, knees, spine, and hands. Some of the most obvious symptoms include pain and stiffness as well as swelling after using the joints.
How can massage help arthritis?
Massage is an effective way to relieve the pain caused by arthritis and it can help sufferers to lead a normal lifestyle. Massage can help the body to combat both muscle tension and pain. Poor circulation can also be improved with regular therapeutic massage. Stiff and painful joints can become looser and pain-free.
There are four primary benefits to using massage to combat arthritis, including:
- Lessen pain: Perhaps the most important role that therapeutic massage plays for arthritis sufferers is pain relief. Massage can help your body to refocus your mind away from the pain and onto the pleasant feeling of receiving a massage. Massage releases endorphins into your body. These chemicals naturally kill the pain and reduce the discomfort that persistent arthritic pain can cause.
- Increased circulation: Massage can help to reduce swelling and improve circulation by clearing the affected tissue of by-products caused by arthritis. It can help to improve the nutrition levels received by the joints and muscles. The excess fluid that causes swelling is encouraged to move into the circulatory system where the body naturally breaks it down. This can reduce pain while increasing the mobility of joints. Regular massage sessions can improve the lubrication that your body produces for the joints ensuring they can move more freely.
- Decreased muscle stiffness: When arthritic pain reaches the joints, the brain tells the body to tighten the muscles around the affected area in order to protect it. This can hinder your movement and can cause even more pain. Massage can help to improve this problem. Massage automatically soothes the nervous system. This calm, relaxed sensation can decrease pain and increase muscle movement.
- Encouragement for exercise: Massage enables you to exercise more by relaxing the muscles and joints that are affected by arthritis. Exercising when suffering from arthritis can cause pain and discomfort. Massage can help to slow the degeneration of your muscles and joints to improve your mobility. This serves to motivate you to exercise appropriately and comfortably.