'Massage can be very beneficial in breaking the pain cycle...'
Can massage help with arthritis? Yes, most definitely. Massage has been shown to help people suffering from all forms of arthritis. Not only does massage alleviate the pain, but it also improves flexibility and improves your range of motion in the affected joints.
Arthritis is not just a single disease. It is a generic term that describes many different joint conditions.
Osteoarthritis is the degenerative joint disease that causes the cartilage that covers the end of the bones in the joint to deteriorate over time. It is the oldest form of arthritis and the most common. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by inflammation of the lining of the joints and can also affect other organs in the body. It is the most serious and disabling type of arthritis. Gout occurs when crystals form in the bloodstream and build up in joints and tissues, creating joint inflammation. This is usually treated with medications and diet. Fibromyalgia is also considered a rheumatic condition as it impairs the joints and the soft tissues, causes chronic pain and affects the muscles and their attachments to the bones.
Massage can be very beneficial in breaking the pain cycle in which arthritis sufferers find themselves constantly. The pain of arthritis causes you to move less to protect the joint, causing it to stiffen up more, loss of flexibility to the tendons and ligaments, creating more loss of mobility, and then more pain, and so on. For those with arthritis, gentle massage has been shown to increase circulation, increase flexibility and mobility, decrease pain and inflammation, relieve muscle aches and stiffness and give you a sense of overall relaxation. You will then be able to sleep better and thereby allow your body to heal itself of inflammation, allow for more freedom of movement and possibly even improve your quality of life. Until next time, live well.