Massage therapy has been used to relieve pain for over two thousand years. It is extremely beneficial for loosening joints, which is why it may help to relieve your arthritis pain. Although the cartilage degeneration associated with arthritis cannot be reversed, massage may help to reduce the muscle spasms and decrease the compressive effects associated with this joint disorder. Damage to the joint tissues play a primary role in the pain of arthritis, but there are also other factors associated with arthritis that massage can directly address, such as tense muscles, fatigue, stress and depression resulting from limited movement.
Loosen Joints and Relieve Tense Muscles
Massage helps to relieve your tense muscles by forcing the tissues to relax and lengthen and when your muscles relax the pain and stiffness decrease and your joint mobility increases. A traditional Swedish massage includes passive joint movements, which help to remind your body of its full potential in the range of motion in your joints. The kneading and long strokes of massage will also help to increase blood circulation in and around your joints. These movements assist in cleansing the tissues of irritating byproducts associated with arthritic inflammation and it improves nutrition to the tissues. With better blood oxygenation, you will experience less fatigue and the swelling that typically occurs with arthritis. Regular massages may also help to improve lubrication around the joints, easing the pain you may often feel with movement.
Arthritis Related Fatigue and Stress
The rhythmic motions of massage therapy help to calm the autonomic nervous system and “wake up” the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system controls your rest and digest system and blocks the fight or flight mode of the sympathetic nervous system. After a massage, the stress hormones, such as cortisol, is lowered which helps to relax your mind and relieve the stress that often occurs as a result of your arthritis interfering with the ability to do your usual activities. Massage therapy also helps to increase the production of dopamine and serotonin, which are pain reducing endorphins that your body naturally produces. One of the best benefits of a massage is that you will have a higher quality of restful sleep for several days following your massage; giving your body a chance to repair and restore the level of energy.
Indulging in regular, weekly massages may be the best way to relieve the pain associated with arthritis. You will have better range of motion, sleep better and have more energy to do the things you used to enjoy; before you started experiencing the pain of arthritis. In most situations, if you are healthy enough for light exercise, you are healthy enough for massages. However, depending on the degree of your arthritis, it is a good idea to talk with your doctor before beginning massage therapy, just to ensure there are no specific cautions your massage therapist should be aware of.
To schedule your appointment with a certified professional, contact LaVida Massage of Washington Township, MI today.