People know that massage can soothe sore muscles, but what about massage to ease the pain of sore joints and arthritis?
Some experts say that the regular massage of joints and the surrounding tissue can lead to a major reduction of pain for some people with arthritis. One expert is Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, who has done several clinical studies on the benefits of massage for people with arthritis.
In her research, Field found that regular massage could lead to improvements in stiffness, range of motion and hand grip strength.
In one of her studies, she found that people with wrist and hand arthritis could have less pain after they have four weekly massages for a month. The study found that 15 minute massages led to less pain and anxiety, as well as better grip strength.
How Massage Works
While the benefits of massage for arthritis seem well established, how does it work? Research suggests that massage can lower the production of your body's stress hormone cortisol. It also can increase production of serotonin, which can improve your mood. Massage also may lower the production of substance P, which is a neurotransmitter linked to pain.
If you are interested in trying some type of massage to reduce your arthritis symptoms, you should talk to your doctor or rheumatologist to make sure that massage is a safe option for you. Some techniques could involve strong pressure to your joints, so it is important to make sure it is safe.
Remember, massage should make your arthritis pain feel better, not worse. If it causes you pain, you should not do it.
To ease your pain, also try some of our popular arthritis products, such as the Theromoskin Carpal Tunnel Glove: