Massage Therapy for Osteoarthritis

Massage therapy for osteoarthritis

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Throughout the U.S., millions are affected by osteoarthritis every year. Massage therapy may be able to relieve pain and stiffness as well as improve mobility. The best results seem to come after several weeks of consistent massage therapy.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, and it is one of the more common forms of arthritis. The condition arises when the cartilage between bones becomes worn down. This wearing down affects the mobility of the joint. It can happen to any joint in the body, but it commonly occurs in the hands and various weight-bearing joints such as the knees. Symptoms include pain, swelling, and stiffness of joints. The development of this condition can be related to factors such as age, weight, genetics, and overuse of a joint.

How Massage Can Help

Without treatment, osteoarthritis can leave patients living in severe pain and eventually lead to loss of mobility in the affected joints. More and more people are searching for options outside of pharmaceuticals and surgery to manage their symptoms. A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine has shown that regular massage may significantly improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. The study examined people suffering from arthritis of the knee and found that participants were reporting significant results after eight weeks of consistent treatment. The study found that in comparison to light touch and regular care, massage therapy outperformed. This suggests that patients suffering from osteoarthritis may benefit from adding massage therapy as a complement to their ongoing care and treatment routines.

The study started with a 1-hour full-body Swedish massage on a weekly basis for the first eight weeks. Afterward, massage was continued on a bi-weekly basis. The results seen after eight weeks of massage were able to be maintained on the bi-weekly schedule. The continued message did not seem to increase the benefits over time but it did maintain the initial results from the 8-week mark. Massage therapy provided an improvement in inflammation, decreased pain, and helped to improve overall mobility of the joint. Before adding massage into your osteoarthritis treatment routine, consult with your doctor to first make sure that it is safe for you to do.

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About Cali Naughton

Cali Naughton graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington. She joined the marketing team at Empower Brokerage in the spring of 2021 as a marketing specialist and the department photographer.

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