Massage therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis pain relief

reumthoid-arthritisThere are a huge number of different conditions that are classified as an autoimmune disease, including, multiple sclerosis, diabetes type 1 and arthritis. Many people with this style of disease may need treatment for life. However, massage therapy, can be used alongside other treatments, ensuring that pain relief is provided.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in your joints. The main symptoms are joint pain and swelling. It’s the second most common form of arthritis in the UK. Many patients will have overlapping symptoms, which commonly affect the skin, blood vessels, and muscles.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects around 400,000 people in the UK.
It can affect adults at any age, but most commonly starts between the ages of 40 and 50. About three times as many women as men are affected.


Massage and Arthritis

Regular massage of muscles and joints, whether by a licensed therapist at a spa or by self-massage at home, can lead to a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis, according to Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, who’s conducted a number of studies on the benefits of massage, including on people with arthritis. In Field’s research and other recent studies on the effects of massage for arthritis symptoms, regular use of the simple therapy led to improvements in pain, stiffness, range of motion, hand grip strength and overall function of the joints.

Living with rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis can be life-changing. You may need long-term treatment to control your symptoms and reduce joint damage.
Depending on how much pain and stiffness you feel and how much joint damage you have, you may have to adapt the way you carry out simple daily tasks. They can become difficult or take longer to complete.
Here are some things you can do to help keep the condition under control.

How Does Massage Work?

While some studies show that massage can reduce pain and anxiety for people with arthritis, how exactly does massage make these results happen?
Research has shown that massage can lower the body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol, and boost production of serotonin, which, in turn, can improve mood. Additionally, massage can lower production of the neurotransmitter substance P, often linked to pain, and improve sleep as a result.
The right pressure on the muscle knots is finally able to relax muscle from prolonged tension and reduce discomfort and unwanted tension around on joints and ligaments.


Researching the Effects of Massage Therapy in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis

Objective: This study considered the efficacy of causing positive systemic effects translating into sustained periods of symptomatic remission in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for a recently diagnosed patient.

Results: At the third weekly session, the client reported experiencing no pain or discomfort. This period of non-flare up and absence of pain continued through the remainder of the study period, even with a longer 3 week duration between sessions at the end of the 10 weeks. The client also noted that no pain medication other than her weekly Methotrexate dosage was taken throughout the duration of the study and that she obtained a better quality of sleep and daily activity.

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