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The Rubdown on Massage Therapy for Arthritis Patients

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Bones & Joints related image Photo: Getty Images

The benefits of massage have been touted for years. Aside from being a sweet hour of pampering just for you, massage boasts numerous health benefits that make that hour more than just luxurious. It can potentially be live-changing, especially when it means relief from the pain, stress, and anxiety commonly seen with arthritis patients.

As a regular form of therapy, massage alleviates low back pain and improves your range of motion. It can enhance your overall immune system by stimulating your body’s natural defense system. It allows for increased joint flexibility, lessens the effects of depression and anxiety, and can improve your circulation. Massage can even decrease one’s dependency on medication. That’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Although I would love to get regular massages from a professional, time and resources do not necessarily allow for that endeavor at the moment, and whenever I put my foot up on my husband’s lap as a minor hint or playful suggestion, it is typically overlooked. Further, my teenage boys are now too heavy to walk on my back, a game in which I engaged them when they were smaller so that I could get some form of massage therapy! At present, the dogs don’t seem to stay on my back much longer than a second or two, so there goes that idea. As such, I merely dream of the day when regular visits to the massage therapist are posted on my calendar.

If you are one of millions who suffer from arthritis, the benefits of massage should not be overlooked. According to the Arthritis Foundation, massage reduces the muscle pain that is typically caused by spasms. It also increases the body’s ability to produce endorphins which alleviate pain. Studies have shown that arthritis patients who undergo massage therapy notice less stiffness, decreased pain, and increased mobility in their joints.

In 2006, a study was done with a focus on individuals who suffer from arthritis in their hands. The Touch Research Institute discovered that when massage was performed regularly on a focus group of patients, it eased the symptoms associated with their arthritis.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.