Question: Is massage effective in treating pain associated with osteoarthritis?
Answer: Well as a former massage therapist, I have to promote massage therapy for arthritis, for osteoarthritis. You know, massage is a very old system; that laying on of hands, kneading, and massaging tissue is quite ancient. People have figured out a long time ago that you can knead and rub sore muscles and it can help relieve pain. I think what's important here is, if you're considering massage therapy for your osteoarthritis, that you want to make sure you find a licensed massage therapist and you're very clear about what you're expectations are. Talk about and be very frank with your massage therapist -- that's too much pressure, that's not enough pressure.
Massage therapy may also be covered by certain insurance companies, and may not by others. But I definitely think massage offers relaxation; it's very effective for reducing pain and anxiety that can be associated with all kinds of pain syndromes, including osteoarthritis.
So again, just another plug for massage therapy. There's many different types of massage out there, though, so you know -- Thai massage, Shiatsu, Swedish massage, neuromuscular therapy -- so you really want to, you want to do your homework to decide what kind of massage would be best for you. And again, massage therapy very effective for many people with osteoarthritis, but can be over stimulating or irritating for people with rheumatoid arthritis, especially if you're in an acute phase. So again osteoarthritis, massage very, very helpful for, rheumatoid arthritis during periods of remission could be quite good but to really probably avoid or not get too much massage if you're in one of the acute exacerbations.
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