Do you suffer from osteoarthritis? You aren’t alone. According to some estimates, roughly 3.8% of the world’s population has this disease. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative arthritis and degenerative joint disease, is characterized by the degradation of protective cartilage and bone within the joints. While there’s no known cure for osteoarthritis, massage therapy may offer relief of the pain and symptoms it causes.
How can massage therapy offer relief from osteoarthritis? It’s able to achieve this goal in several different ways, one of which is by protecting the joints from further wear and tear. Osteoarthritis is classified as a degenerative disease, meaning it gets worse over time. People who suffer from this disease generally experience more flareups – and with a greater level of severity – as they age. Massage therapy slows down this process by stimulating blood flood and thus sending key vitamins and nutrients to affected joints. When circulation is increased, blood is able to transport beneficial nutrients to key areas within the body (joints included) with greater ease.
Among the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis, one of the most common is inflammation. As the cartilage begins to wear down, the painful bone on bone contact can lead to swelling. According to an article published by MASSAGE magazine in honor of World Arthritis Day, massage therapy can release buildups of fluids within the limbs and joints to relieve inflammation. A professional massage therapist may use a variety of different manual manipulation techniques to flush fluid from the client’s body.
The benefits of massage therapy for osteoarthritis sufferers doesn’t end there. This centuries-old practice may also relieve pain associated with the disease. As the protective cartilage begins to wear away, direct bone on bone contact can cause sharp, shooting pain. Massage releases pain-relieving hormones, which block out the pain signals created by the brain.
These are just a few of the many ways in which massage therapy can help relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. See for yourself why so many arthritis sufferers are using massage therapy.
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