Arthritis is something that millions of people have to deal with on a daily basis. Practically everyone who is past the age of 50 or 60 experiences arthritis. Even those who are just 20 or 30 may have arthritis.
It is a very painful thing, and despite all the medical advances of the past few decades, there still hasn’t been a significant improvement in the treatment of arthritis. There is, however, something that can really help with arthritis and that is massage therapy. Not sold on the benefits of massage for arthritis? You will be after reading on.
What is Arthritis?
As you probably already know, arthritis is a condition in which the joints become painful to move. That’s due to the inflammation there. People with arthritis commonly have a hard time using the affected joint.
Those who have severe cases of arthritis may have a difficulty in doing normal things, while those with more mild cases of arthritis may be able to manage and are still able to do all the regular things. Regardless, arthritis does affect a person’s life, which is why people seek to make living with their arthritis an easier process. Massage therapy can help.
The Benefits of Massage for Arthritis
Massage therapy can help with many medical conditions, especially arthritis. That’s because massage helps to increase flexibility, reduce inflammation and pain, as well as strengthen the immune system
How Massage Increases Flexibility
When a massage therapist begins to massage the muscles in the body, the muscles begin to relax. Relaxed muscles have a better range of motion than do muscles which are tight. Arthritis causes the muscles and joints to become very tight, thus limiting the range of motion. Massage therapy helps to reverse this effect.
Massage therapy has also been shown to reduce the amount of time needed to recover from an injury, so those who get frequent injuries due to arthritis can expect to recover much quicker when having massage therapy.
How Massage Reduces Inflammation
Massage therapy also has the benefit of reducing inflammation. Inflammation is a big part of the arthritis equation, making it easy to see how beneficial massage can be for arthritis.
Massage therapy reduces inflammation because the massage itself helps to improve blood flow. Since more blood is flowing, it’s harder for inflammation to develop in the muscles. Thus, inflammation is reduced.
How Massage Reduces Pain
Painful muscles tend to be very tight and hurt a lot to move. Massage therapy increases the flexibility of a muscle, making it easy for the muscle to move normally. It also strengthens tissues in the body, which helps to cut down on the amount of pain a person suffering from arthritis feels.
How Massage Strengthens the Immune System
Studies have shown that people with the highest amounts of stress are sick more often than others. Stress, combined with poor nutrition, weakens the immune system. Getting a massage reduces the amount of stress a person says, and so they stay healthier for longer periods of time.
As you probably already know, arthritis tends to flare up more when a person is sick, so by improving the immune system, a person can reduce the amount of arthritis pain they experience. Massage therapy is a good way of boosting the immune system.