Massage Therapy for Arthritis

Before I start describing the benefits of massage therapy for arthritis, I would like to refer you to my disclaimer.

OK, now that that's done...

Many people find relief from pain with massage therapy for arthritis conditions.

There are many types of arthritis, so ask your doctor which type of arthritis you have before getting a massage.

Is massage appropriate for the type of arthritis you have?

(When I mention massage, I am referring to circulatory unless otherwise noted.)

Osteoarthritis (OA)

This type of arthritis occurs from excessive use of the joint or general wear and tear over the years. It is very common in the knees (skiers and tennis players often have OA in the knee after working the joint in the sport for 40 years.)

There is no way of healing the wear and tear after the damage has been done, but the positive side is that there are behavioral changes that can be made that can reduce pain and improve the condition.

In most cases of RA, massage therapy for arthritis would be beneficial.Have the area massaged throughly and regularly by a professional therapist. If the area is inflamed, however, do not massage the area. Wait until the inflammation goes down and then check with your doctor before getting the massage.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

This type of arthritis is related to the immune system and is typically indicated with 'nodes' or hard bumps that develop on the joints (common in the fingers of the elders). The joints eventually loose mobility and flexibility.

Ask your doctor if massage is OK for this type of arthritis. Because it is an immune disorder, it is spread through the circulatory system and massage can spread if in acute phase.

If there is no inflammation, massage should be ok and will make the condition feel better and help the joints to be more mobile. Still, check with your doctor first.

Septic Arthritis

This is pain in the joint caused by bacteria and is very serious.



Gout it a type of arthritis that is chemical, and usually causes swelling in the toe or foot. It is typically brought on by food bingeing, but it could also be a systemic problem, and is also common after surgery.

Gout should not be massaged. People with gout should to to the doctor to find out the best treatment.

Massage Therapy for Arthritis:
What about energy work?

For the types of arthritis that can not receive circulatory work, energy work might be a way of improving the situation. Energy work by no means is a substitute for going to a doctor, but may help when used simultaneously with Western medical treatments.

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