Arthritis is a condition that affects both young and old alike and according to the CDC, there is no known cure for most types of arthritis. The pain associated with this joint afflicting condition can become unbearable for those who suffer from it chronically and can cause one to lose sleep, miss out on work or feel frustrated about having limited mobility. There are several medications on the market that help with reducing inflammation to alleviate some of the pain of arthritis, but those affects wear off after a few hours, leaving the sufferer to wallow in stiffness and ache once again.
One thing many who live with arthritis do to help with easing the pain is rubbing the spot that is affected, and believe it or not, this is a good habit to have. It has been proven through scientific study and research that massage actually helps in alleviating arthritis pain, as well as extending the amount of time between the painful moments.
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According to Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, regular massage of muscles and joints, whether by a licensed therapist at a spa or by self-massage at home, can lead to a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis.
In Field’s research and other recent studies on the effects of massage for arthritis symptoms, regular use of the simple therapy led to improvements in pain, range of motion, stiffness, hand gripping and overall function of the joints.
So how does massage actually work for helping with arthritis? Research has shown that massage can lower the body’s production of cortisol (stress hormone), and boost production of serotonin, which, in turn, can improve mood. Massage can also lower production of the neurotransmitter substance P, often linked to pain, and improve sleep as a result.
Incorporating massage into a health routine can help with improving all forms of arthritis overtime, so scheduling one hour out of the day to receive therapy by way of touch should become a necessity on a weekly or biweekly basis. As always, check with your doctor before treating your arthritis with massage to determine the best type of massage for your symptoms.
Visit the BlackDoctor.org Arthritis center for more articles.