Benefit of Massage Therapy for Arthritis
3 Key Benefits of Massage Therapy for Those With Arthritis
Most people know that massage therapy can be helpful for overall muscle pain and some normal joint pain, but it can also be exceptionally beneficial to those with arthritis. Massage therapy for individuals who suffer from arthritic pain can help in the following ways.
1. Less pain in the joints
You may think the lessened pain is all in your head, but studies show that a specific neurotransmitter in the body called substance P, which is linked to severe pain, is actually lowered when someone gets a massage. In addition, arginine vasopressin is lowered. This is a hormone that can lower blood pressure, which may offer pain relief as well.
Lastly, remember that massage for arthritis doesn’t have to only affect large joints like the elbows and knees. You can also get massage therapy on your wrists and hands if you have arthritis there.
2. Reduced stress levels and increased relaxation
Most people who have received massages in the past can attest that massage therapy reduces high levels of stress. For those with arthritis, high stress levels may be caused by the disease itself, but everyone can experience stress and anxiety in their lives for any number of reasons.
Massage therapy reduces stress by lowering levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the number one stress hormone, and it’s high levels have been known to be associated with anxiety disorder, chronic depression and other mental disturbances. Several studies have been conducted that have directly linked massage therapy to the lowering of cortisol levels.
3. Better sleep
Those who have higher levels of serotonin in the body and lower levels of cortisol tend to sleep better then those who produce a lot of cortisol and a only little serotonin. The ideal levels of these hormones help people not only got to sleep faster when they’ve laid their heads down at night, but they also help people stay asleep throughout the night. This is wonderful news for those with arthritis who often have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep.
Cautions when using massage therapy for arthritis
Even though massage therapy has been positively linked with less arthritis pain and better overall feelings, there are still some cautions to consider when getting a massage if you have arthritis. If you have any of the following, talk to your doctor first before getting a massage for your arthritis.