There are more than 100 types of arthritis, but the most prevalent by far is osteoarthritis (OA), also known as wear-and-tear arthritis. Since it affects more than 32.5 million adults in the United States, and there’s no cure, the hunt for effective ways to manage the symptoms ranks high on the priority list of sufferers and physicians alike.
The goal of any OA treatment is to reduce pain and inflammation and increase range of motion. Although medications can offer temporary relief, they aren’t viable long-term options. Dr. Dana Robinson at Peninsula RSI Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Redwood City, California, has a more sustainable solution — massage therapy. Here’s how it can help your OA symptoms.
How massage therapy eases osteoarthritis symptoms
Dr. Robinson’s extensive training in the field of massage therapy allows her to target the exact tissues that need the assistive benefits of manipulation and stimulation. She understands the intricate way your body parts are connected to one another, how they work in harmony, and how to restore their ability to do so by using just her hands.
While massage therapy can’t regrow your worn-down cartilage, it can do what all OA therapies attempt to do — ease pain and inflammation and increase mobility — only better and without drugs. Here’s what happens inside your arthritic joint when you undergo massage therapy:
- Inflammation subsides
- Pain decreases
- Blood circulates more freely
- Muscles relax
- Stiffness eases
- Range of motion increases
There are several reasons massage therapy delivers these benefits, one of which is the regulation of two key hormones. Massage therapy lowers your production of cortisol, the stress hormone, and increases your production of serotonin, the mood-enhancing hormone. This one-two punch stops your pain and relaxes your body and mind.
Further, as Dr. Robinson applies precise pressure, she stimulates nerves beneath your skin and deep in your muscle tissue, which reduces the pain signals they send to your brain. Studies by the Arthritis Foundation, the Archives of Internal Medicine, and Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice have all found that massage therapy is an effective treatment for OA symptoms.
Best types of massage therapy for osteoarthritis
Dr. Robinson is a master of several healing massage therapy techniques, and she uses each according to your unique condition. Here are a few she may use to ease your OA symptoms:
- Swedish massage: long, relaxing strokes and kneading improve the flow of oxygen
- Trigger point massage: targeted pressure or vibration on a knotted muscle
- Deep tissue massage: firm, tension-relieving pressure
During your consultation with Dr. Robinson, she helps you understand your treatment options, what to expect from each, and which type of massage therapy is best suited for you.
About 47.5 million Americans turn to massage therapy for drug-free pain relief, stress reduction, and an overall sense of wellness. If you have pain from osteoarthritis, migraine, or neck or low back injuries, come see Dr. Robinson and find out how massage therapy can be an integral part of your treatment plan. Use our online booking tool or call us at 650-599-9868 today.