What is Arthritis ?
Arthritis means joint inflammation. It is a rheumatic condition. The most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms of arthritis usually develop over time, though and on occasion they can appear suddenly. Arthritis is most commonly seen in adults over the age of 65, but it can also develop in children, teens, and younger adults. Arthritis is more common in women than men and in people who are overweight.
Joint pain, swelling and stiffness are the most common symptoms of arthritis. Range of motion may also decrease, and may experience redness of the skin around the joint. Many people notice their symptoms are worse in the morning. In the case of RA, you may feel tired or experience a loss of appetite due to the inflammation the immune system’s activity causes.
How can massage help?
Massage is a safe, natural way to help relax the muscles and bring movement back into the joints. It compresses the soft tissues and stimulates them to bring blood flow. It helps loosen up the tightness in soft tissue and helps with fluid mobility. Regular massage of muscles and joints, can lead to a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis.
Chronic osteoarthritis has been found to respond well to massage. Pain is relieved as the muscles surrounding the joints relax, releasing stiffness and allowing for better range of motion and mobility. Increased relaxation, decreased stress, and a sense of well-being are additional benefits.
For people with hand pain (including pain associated with arthritis), regular hand massage has been proven to decrease anxiety, improve strength and reduce pain. For those with painful arthritis in their hands, coupling regular massage therapy with self-massage will have an even greater impact.
What else can I do?
Ice and heat therapy:
Many reumatologists recommend both heat and cold treatments to help reduce inflammation and ease the pain and stiffness. You will find the right combination of heat packs and ice packs to get the most relief and make it easier to manage your arthritis. We recommend 5 minutes of heat and 5 minutes of cold on and off for about 30mins in the morning or during a flare up to manage symptoms.
Healthy diet is very important! Avoid dairy, red meat, processed foods, refined carbs and sugar. Foods rich in Omega 3 i.e salmon, mackerel, sardines, green veg, salads and fruit.
Regular exercise keeps your joints mobile and your muscles healthy. Swimming, Thai Chi, low impact aerobics, strength training and dancing are all good examples of exercise for people with arthritis. With the right diet, massage treatments and exercise your arthritis pain can become manageable.
If you feel you are suffering from pain associated with arthritis please give our office a call on 02 9905 9099 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Diana Carolin – Neurohealth