According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 58.5 million U.S. adults suffered from arthritis from 2013-2015. That’s about one in four U.S. adults with women being impacted more commonly than men. The Mayo Clinic defines arthritis as the swelling and tenderness of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms are joint pain and stiffness and this typically worsens as we get older. The good news is that regular massage therapy has been shown to help deal with the stiffness and pain that comes from arthritis.
Most treatment options for arthritis involve some kind of pharmaceutical intervention depending on the severity of the diagnosis. However, massage is a great drug-free option for dealing with the pain, swelling, and stiffness that comes with an arthritis diagnosis. One of the most common areas impacted by arthritis is the knee. A study published in the journal PLoS One found that people with osteoarthritis in their knees who received a 1-hour Swedish massage once a week for eight weeks reported less pain, greater mobility, and a better range of motion than people who didn’t get a massage.
Consistency is Key
Your massage therapist will do a health intake to determine your specific treatment needs so be sure to be honest and share any joint damage, tender areas, or injuries you might have. Another pro tip is to make regular appointments and keep them. Just like going to the gym on a consistent basis gets you better results, regular massage will help combat that inflammation and stiffness. Your therapist will recommend how often is best as well as the type of massage that is appropriate for your specific symptoms.
Work with your therapist to develop a treatment plan that works best for your schedule and symptoms. Follow up your massage with regular exercise and make sure you stay hydrated. Some soreness the next day is normal but check with your therapist if you have concerns. Don’t just look at massage as a luxury day at the spa but think of it as a tool to better health and make your appointment today!