Arthritis is an extremely common and invasive condition. There are over 100 different types of arthritis in the world: each causing pain and discomfort in their own way.

What exactly is Arthritis?’  A joint is the place where 2 or more bones connect with one another.  Each joint is specialized in its shape and structural components to control the range of motion between the parts that it connects.  Arthritis is the inflammation within those joints, restricting the range of motion that joint can produce.

There is no cure for most types of Arthritis, however massage is one of the most beneficial short term treatments for this condition as it targets the underlying problems brought on by Arthritis. These conditions include pain, sleeplessness, stress, anxiety, restricted movement and more.

Generally, an individual with Arthritis feels pain more so in the muscles and tendons rather than in the inflamed joints. Massage can be used to ease this muscle pain and reduce the need for taking pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS). This is done by targeting the affected muscles and providing a treatment that soothes and relaxes those muscles so there is less stress and tension on them during movements required by the inflamed joint.

A decrease in pain is just the start of the many benefits massage can provide to someone with Arthritis. By working through the affected muscles, the integrity of the muscle fibres are improving, therefore increasing flexibility and grip strength. This in turn, reduces joint stiffness.

Did you know? Any pain you feel throughout your body is felt by pressure receptors. These receptors lie under your skin and send signals to your brain to indicate a site of possible trauma or inflammation. A massage with moderate pressure is vital to stimulate these pressure receptors so they convey signals to the brain to alleviate pain and release beneficial, stress-reducing neurochemicals like Serotonin and reduce the production of Cortisol, the stress-inducing hormone. Therefore, by decreasing the production of the hormones that cause stress, and increasing the production of the neurochemicals that relieve stress symptoms, we are significantly reducing the chances of stress creeping in to our lives or removing the stress we may already be feeling.

Applying all these factors together can then increase the overall independence of the individual, allowing them to maintain their normal daily activities. This can then lead to a reduction in depression and anxiety brought on by the chronic pain caused by Arthritis, leaving the client happy and pain free, which is how everyone wants to feel after all.

Written by:

Ashleigh Simmonds

Remedial Therapist