Arthritis & Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you are among the estimated one in one hundred Canadians or 300,000 individuals living with arthritis, there’s something you should know: massage therapy really works for relief of arthritis pain.
As an autoimmune disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is caused by the immune system attacking the joints of the body causing redness, pain and swelling. Most commonly felt in the hands and feet, rheumatoid arthritis also affects the elbows, shoulders, neck, jaw, ankles, knees and hips. The cause of this painful and sometimes disabling condition is currently unknown. The disease afflicts two to three times more women than men, and can strike at any age. Unrelated infection, genetics, stress, smoking, nutrition, and hormones are all reported to influence the course and severity of rheumatoid arthritis.
If this inflammation is not treated it can lead to joint deformity, disability and painful swelling in the eyes, lungs and heart. Rheumatoid arthritis is usually treated by a rheumatologist and if the right course of treatment is started early, individuals can avoid serious joint damage and lead active and productive lives.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis typically include prolonged morning stiffness, pain in multiple joints of the body simultaneously and pain in the same joints on both sides of the body (known as symmetrical pattern). The arthritic disease may be mild with only occasional periods of inflammation followed by periods of remission. In other cases, the arthritic disease will continually flare-up and appear to get worse over time causing pain, fatigue and weakness. These cases may be accompanied by fever, weight loss and severe joint pain.
Other Arthritis Symptoms
Rheumatoid Arthritis usually develops slowly over time, with some or all of the following symptoms:
- waking up with stiff joints in the morning
- pain, warmth, swelling and tenderness in the affected joints
- stiffness in the affected joints following an extended inactivity
- limited range of motion in the affected joints
- flu-like symptoms, including muscle pain, fatigue and weakness
- low grade fever, especially when the affected joints are acutely inflamed
- small, round, firm, painless bumps under the skin
Because the precise cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not yet understood, there is no clear guidance on how to prevent its onset.
The goals in treating rheumatoid arthritis are to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, maintain joint function, and prevent joint deformities. Medication can control pain and diminish inflammation, but patients should make a fully informed decision about any medication only after having considered the documented side-effects of the drug in question. Other components of arthritis therapy include an appropriate balance of rest, gentle exercise, massage therapy, and protection of the affected joints.
Registered massage therapy can help reduce muscle pain dramatically, improving blood flow to the affected joints, and helping a patient achieve and sustain Skilled Relaxation as a means of reducing the pain of rheumatoid arthritis. Everest Therapeutics Inc. can aid patients living with arthritis, helping them to relieve their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
The benefits of Arthritis massage therapy include:
- an improvement in circulation;
- an improvement in flexibility and mobility;
- a decrease in pain and inflammation;
- relief of muscle aches and stiffness;
- a decrease in the major symptoms associated with arthritis;
- a sense of overall relaxation and wellness.
Massage is one form of therapy which can compliment the overall treatment of some forms of arthritis. A massage therapist can relieve some of the associated pain and discomfort, and they can also provide you with exercises and home-care advice. Arthritis affects everyone differently, so it’s always wise to seek medical attention to get a proper diagnosis and treatment advice to find what will work best for you.
Vancouver Massage Therapy
Talking to your Registered Massage Therapist and outlining a treatment plan for massage therapy will help you with rheumatoid arthritis. Your arthritis massage therapist can give you an exercise program along with the manual therapy typically associated with seeing a registered massage therapist. To book an appointment with an RMT today, please click here.
To book an appointment with an RMT please click here.