For most of us, getting a body massage can seem to be a luxury reserved only for special occasions.
However, there are many people that need a regular massage to get through their daily lives; these people need frequent massage sessions for relief from the pain caused by medical conditions such as arthritis.
Although massage can be viewed as a luxury or indulgence for many, to those that have arthritis, it could mean the difference between soreness and satisfaction.
Reliable reports state that nearly one in five adults in America suffers from some form of arthritis. And, the reports state that the most common forms of arthritis in the hand are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
So, how painful can Arthritis be?
Well, arthritis pain limits regular common activities such as dressing and even bathing. People who suffer from chronic arthritis in their hands have reduced movement and hand grip strength.
Therefore, if your work involves repetitive tasks such as typing, and you frequently experience pain and cramping, we would recommend you visit a massage therapist.
The expert will be able to identify the trigger points in your hand and treat them, helping decrease your pain and allowing you to work in a pain-free state.
Regular massage leads to improvements in pain, range of motion, stiffness, hand grip strength and the overall function of the joints.
People diagnosed with hand or wrist arthritis can also largely benefit from a hand massage.
Even something as simple as a 20-minute, normal pressure massage in a day can lead to reduced pain, anxiety, and increased grip strength.
However, if you don´t have the energy or the strength to give yourself a massage or visit the massage parlor, you may consider investing in a vibrating hand massager machine.
What are the benefits of a vibrating handheld massager you ask?
Well, for starters, machines are simply more effective than human hands. Machines can cover a large area and are simply more convenient.
Weather can influence arthritis conditions as well.
So, the Question Arises—How Can Massage Help People Diagnosed With Arthritis?
Massage works exceptionally well at lowering the body´s production of the stress hormone, cortisol. In addition to that, massage therapy sessions can also aid in the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that helps improve mood levels.
Scientific studies also suggest that massage helps lower the production of the substance P, often associated to pain.
Hence, frequent massages can not only provide pain relief benefits, they can also help reduce depression and anxiety.
People who have painful arthritis in their hands can benefit tremendously from regular massage therapy sessions spearheaded by trained experts.
These experts specialize in addressing the pain brought on by numerous physical conditions and their expertise can provide daily relief to those suffering from the discomfort and lack of mobility caused by arthritis.
What Are Some of the Techniques for Self-Hand Massage?
You need not rely on anyone else for a massage. If you are suffering from extreme pain, it is possible for you to address the pain yourself; you will only need to give yourself a self-hand massage.
There are multiple techniques that enable you to practice a hand massage on yourself.
One of the most common self-hand massages is known as milking. Basically, all you will need to do is to grip your fingers on the top of your forearm with your thumb on the underside.
You will then need to apply moderate pressure, move the hand that you massage with from your wrist to your elbow and then, slightly pull your flesh between them.
There are also multiple videos on video-sharing platforms such as YouTube that give you instructions on how to massage your hands.
We should truly count our blessings for being a part of the contemporary world where we have access to numerous technological devices and facilities that help make our lives easier.
There are other types of massage that can also help treat your arthritis symptoms.
However, it is first of paramount importance for you to consult with your physician or rheumatologist to discuss the most effective and safest massage for you.
After all, some massage techniques may include the application of heavy pressure to sensitive joints, pressure points, and tissues, and the movement of limbs into various different positions.
And, it may be next to impossible for a person suffering from damaged joints to move his/her limbs and other parts of the body freely.
Some of the most effective massages for treating arthritis include;
Trigger Point Massage
In the simplest of terms, a trigger point massage is a form of massage that largely targets and includes the application of pressure or vibration to myofascial trigger points to bring relief from pain in certain areas of the body.
Trigger point therapy sessions can also include the use of injections.
What are trigger points you ask? Well, trigger points are basically points in the muscles where knots are or may be formed.
The main aim of the myofascial release massage is to relieve pain by maneuvering the fascia, the connective tissues that form the framework of the nerves, muscles, and blood vessels.
During a session of myofascial release, the professional masseuse pulls and releases the fascia tissues by gently rolling the skin back and forth on the legs, back and other parts of the body.
This massage, in most cases, doesn´t rely on the use of massage tools, oils, or lotions.
Do Hand Massages Help Arthritis?
Hand massages can provide relief for individuals with arthritis by addressing various aspects of the condition. Arthritis, a chronic inflammation of the joints, often leads to pain, stiffness, and reduced hand function. While hand massages may not cure arthritis, they can offer symptomatic relief and improve overall well-being.
Massage therapy has been recognized for its potential to alleviate arthritis symptoms. Scientific studies suggest that regular hand massages can contribute to the reduction of pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. One key mechanism is the promotion of blood circulation. Massaging the hands stimulates blood flow, which can help deliver essential nutrients to the affected joints and remove metabolic waste products, fostering a healthier environment for joint function.
Furthermore, hand massages may aid in muscle relaxation. Arthritis often leads to muscle tension, exacerbating discomfort. Skilled massage techniques can target specific muscle groups in the hands, releasing tension and promoting a sense of relaxation. This not only eases immediate pain but may also contribute to long-term improvements in hand function.
In addition to physical benefits, hand massages have been linked to psychological well-being. Arthritis can have a significant impact on mental health, causing stress and anxiety. Regular massages have shown promise in reducing stress hormones and promoting the release of endorphins, the body's natural mood enhancers. As a result, individuals with arthritis may experience improved mental well-being and a better ability to cope with the challenges associated with the condition.
It is crucial to note that while hand massages can be beneficial, they should be approached with caution in certain cases. Individuals with severe arthritis or specific contraindications should consult with healthcare professionals before incorporating massage therapy into their treatment plan. Additionally, a qualified massage therapist with knowledge of arthritis-related considerations can tailor the massage techniques to suit individual needs.
In conclusion, hand massages can play a supportive role in managing arthritis symptoms by enhancing blood circulation, promoting muscle relaxation, and positively impacting mental well-being. While not a substitute for medical treatment, incorporating regular, tailored hand massages into an arthritis management plan may contribute to an improved quality of life for individuals dealing with this challenging condition.