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Massage Therapies for Arthritis: An Overview

Aug 17, 2007
Massage therapies for arthritis have been practised some thousands years old, but are still considered to be one of the most effective treatment for arthritis.

Arthritis is a kind of rheumatic disease that can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Sometimes, the disease may create complications and affect other parts of the body like muscles and internal organs.

However, if administered properly, massage therapies for arthritis can effectively help improve joint movement and relax tense muscles. They also stimulate the flow of blood and nutrients to the skin and its underlying tissues. Let me give you an insight into how the massage therapies for arthritis work.

Massage therapies for arthritis involve manipulation of muscles, tendons and other soft tissues through rubbing, stroking, or putting pressure on the flesh with your hands. Massaging of muscles, tendons and soft tissues around the inflamed joint result in increased blood flow to and from the diseased joint. It also helps in enhanced lymphatic drainage around the treatment area.

Normally, the therapist asks you to remove some or all of your clothing and lie on a padded table with your body covered with a sheet or towel. The therapist uncovers only that part of your body, which would need to be massaged. The therapist then pours an oil or lotion on your skin and begins the massage therapy. You should inform your therapist if you have any skin allergies, before he uses any oil. During the therapy if you find that you are experiencing pain, ask the therapist to slow down. Rough rubbing and stroking are not recommended in massage therapies for arthritis.

Massage therapies for arthritis usually last from sixty to ninety minutes. However, undergoing just one session of therapy may give relief from pain on a short-term basis. In order to feel some real improvements, I personally recommend four to six sessions of massage therapy for arthritis each of which should be about a week apart.

At first, the massage therapist asks questions about your current physical condition, medical history and what should be your expectations from the treatment. Based on these, the therapist decides on the right treatment you require.

Normally, massage therapies for arthritis may cost somewhere between $30 and $125 per hour depending on your physical condition, medical history and the intensity of pain. However, some insurance companies cover the cost of such alternative treatments, but then, you must get it prescribed by a doctor.

The massage therapist may show you some techniques for massage, which you may use on yourself at home. However, some massage therapies for arthritis when done by the patient himself, are not as effective and relaxing. You should self-massage yourself only on those spots on your body where your hands can reach. For hard-to-reach places, you do need a partner to help you out. Always consult your therapist if you are trying out something new in your self-massage routine.

Overall, massage therapies for arthritis give excellent results in majority of the cases. They break the cycle of pain and stress that comes along with arthritis. Lastly, the relaxation they bring about is just great.
About the Author
Sandra Kim Leong writes on rheumatoid arthritis . For more tips and resources, please visit http://www.rheumatoid-arthritis-relief.com .
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