While commonly associated with being a part of old age, arthritis can affect people of all ages. It causes pain and inflammation in your joints, and it makes people desperately search for a cure. So it’s no wonder that you’re asking is deep tissue massage good for arthritis.
Here we’ll take a closer look at whether or not it can help, how often you need massages and other key questions, such as what other treatment options are available. Let’s start by looking at whether a deep tissue massage for arthritis is a good idea.
Is Deep Tissue Massage Good for Arthritis?
The answer is simple, deep tissue massage can be a useful pain reliever for arthritis. There are several reasons for that, as this type of massage can help improve joint mobility, blood circulation, and muscle tension.
The clue as to why this works is in the name. A deep tissue massage can penetrate deep into the muscle tissue. This contrasts with other forms of massage that work the surface layers and are mainly meant for relaxation.
Added to the benefits stated above, deep massages can also help to stimulate nerve endings and block the pain signals that fire so readily for arthritis sufferers. Having regular massages can help you to keep on top of your symptoms.
It’s important to note that a deep tissue massage isn’t a miracle cure, and its benefits will wear off over time. That being said, its advantages are clear, and you’ll immediately see the benefits of getting one of these massages.
How Often Should You Get a Massage for Arthritis?
So, we’ve established that these massages can work, but how often should they be done to get continuous benefits?
The answer is different for everyone, as it can depend on how often your symptoms flare up and the severity of the pain. That being said, having massages twice a week can be a great way to keep on top of your pain.
Of course, we realize that not everyone can afford to have a massage that often. If money is a little tighter for you, it can be a good idea to go as and when you feel like you need a better form of pain relief than medication alone.
It can be a good idea to supplement your professional massages with personal massages at home. While this won’t have quite the same effect as using a trained therapist, it can help when you’re in a lot of pain.
Does Deep Tissue Massage Reduce Inflammation?
Yes, it does. The techniques used will reduce muscle tension throughout the body while also improving circulation. Having better circulation is an important way for your body to repair itself and speed up recovery.
While deep tissue massage can reduce inflammation in the area that’s being worked, it’s thought that its benefits go beyond that. The elimination of metabolic waste helps to promote the reduction of inflammation throughout the whole body.
Can Deep Tissue Massage Hurt?
It’s important to set your expectations before having a deep tissue massage. Their main focus is not relaxation, and you shouldn’t have one if this is the only thing you’re looking for.
There’s a saying, ‘you need to spend money to make money’. In the case of deep tissue massage, you could change that to say that you need to take a little pain to reduce your pain.
That may seem counter-intuitive but let me explain. Deep tissue massage uses quite intense pressure to get deep into your muscles and work out that tension. It can be uncomfortable in the moment, but you’ll soon be feeling the huge benefits of more relaxed muscles and improved mobility.
Pain is subjective, but most find the pain levels during this type of massage to be low, and they don’t hurt a lot. Some even enjoy the pain as they can feel that tension being worked out of their muscles!
There’s no reason to fear a deep tissue massage, and you can always communicate with your therapist if it’s getting too much.
Other Types of Massage for Arthritis
Of all the different types of massage options out there, deep tissue massage is the one that we’d most highly recommend for arthritis due to all the reasons mentioned above. However, it may be that you want to try something a little more focused on relaxation.
If that’s what you want, then Swedish massage can be a good alternative. This form of massage focuses on long strokes to try and relax the muscles. They can also help to improve circulation but don’t ease muscle tension quite as effectively as deep tissue massage.
Myofascial release is another useful alternative, as this massage focuses on the connective tissue, which can help to improve mobility and ease the pain. Like deep tissue massage, this isn’t a massage technique that is focused on relaxation.
Finally, sports massage can be a good option. This shares many similarities with deep tissue massage but is mainly focused on those with an active lifestyle or recovering from sports injuries. If you want to try deep tissue massage but don’t have a therapist locally, getting a sports massage instead can be a good idea.
Best Home Care Treatments for Arthritis
It’s important to fight back against your arthritis symptoms. Many of the things you can do to help can be done right now. Perhaps the most important is staying active, as this will keep your mobility high and reduce your muscle stiffness.
When pain does flare up, one great way to cope with it is by using hot and cold therapy. This is where you alternate between applying hot and cold such as using a heat lamp on your joints and then applying an ice pack.
Other great ideas include practising home massage techniques and yoga. Improving your diet can have significant benefits too. Natural anti-inflammatory foods such as berries, fish, broccoli, peppers and green tea can reduce symptoms of pain.
There are many treatment options you can take when it comes to reducing the pain you feel from arthritis. One of the best options is deep tissue massage, which will give you better mobility, reduce the tension in your muscles while also aiding in circulation. If you want all these benefits, make sure to book in with a professional therapist as soon as possible.