Millions of adults and old age people are suffering from osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint that has been described as “wear and tear”, causing changes in the joints, underlying bones, and lining.
As the largest and most complex joint pain in the body, the knee is commonplace for people to develop osteoarthritis. As per this, most sports injury specialists state that massage therapy can be beneficial, and pain is relieved as the muscle surrounding the joints relax, release stiffness, and allow for a better range of motion.
In addition to this, massage therapy includes added benefits such as increased relaxation, decrease stress, and a sense of well-being.
Research Behind Massage & Osteoarthritis
It’s a very daunting task to find good research on massage therapy for osteoarthritis because it is hard to measure relaxation and well-being objectively. But, some researchers have found that massage therapy can be effective for various arthritis-related pains.
- Neck pain – A recent study published by the Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice found that massage therapy can help to relieve pain and increase the range of motion in people with neck arthritis.
- Low Back Pain – According to a study published by Pain Medicine, people who have participated in the massage therapy session may feel immediate improvements in their chronic low-back pain.
- Knee pain – People who receive massage for knee osteoarthritis see improvements in their pain and stiffness, says Archives of Internal Medicine. Also, they suggest that weekly 60 minutes of massage session will bring short-term relief from arthroscopic knee surgery. If it exists a long time, undergo knee replacement, and experience a healthy lifestyle.
Therapeutic Approaches for Osteoarthritis Treatment
Massage offers a range of potential benefits to people with arthritis. Types of massage include,
- Trigger Points – It will relieve pain in specific areas of the body by applying pressure or vibration at the paining areas.
- Shiatsu – One of the Japanese massage technique, which provides rhythmic motions of the finger and palm to apply pressure to particular points of the body.
- Reflexology – Apply pressure to specific spots on the hands and feet and brings relief to other parts of the body.
- Swedish – A massage therapist uses long strokes, circular movements of applied pressure, and kneading to help relax muscles, reduce soreness, and increase oxygen flow.
Tips for Practicing Massage Therapy
- If a person has difficulty using the suggested heel of the hand, suggest they use a two-handed, one hand on top of the other approach.
- Wear comfortable, loose clothing that allows easy access to the thigh.
- Maintain good posture and balance.
- The technique can be done safely on the skin with or without lubrication, or on top of most clothing with the exception of jeans, wool, or corduroy.
- Let your massage therapist know about your current condition before the massage and continually update him or her on how you’re feeling during the massage.
- Take a massage that can be tailored to your unique situation.