The Most Helpful Massage For Arthritis

Last updated on : September 15 2022

Getting massage


Massage is a great way to get relief from any stress you have during the day. It may take care of your anxiety and help you to improve healthy sleep during the night. Moreover, massage is widely used in medicine for chronic pains and arthritis. 

In this article, we'll focus on the benefits of massage for arthritis. 

About Arthritis

Arthritis is a common joint disorder with symptoms like stiffness and joint pain. More than 100 different medical conditions are connected with this disease. The principal target of the illness is the joints. 

Arthritis is widely spread around the world. This disease rarely happens among young and active people. However, it can turn the life of an elderly into an absolute nightmare. 

People sitting in front of the computer during the working day frequently suffer from the same disease.

Benefits Massage Provides Against Arthritis.

Massage is an excellent way to improve your health if you have arthritis - you feel pain in your joints, suffer from a lack of mobility, and must deal with related symptoms like stress, anxiety, and insomnia. 

Here are some of the benefits of massage:

  • Massage helps with pain. It soothes and can stop pain sometimes after a single session. However, even though you should feel some of the effects immediately, you may need more than one session and a healthy lifestyle to eliminate all the pain. 
  • Massage increases the mobility of your joints. Sitting the whole day in one position can significantly damage your health. A wide range of massages can help you to restore it. Think about Esalen or Thai massage. Massage stimulates the blood flow throughout your body and helps you get active again. 
  • Massage enables you to deal with stress and anxiety. Massage helps you relax physically and mentally, allowing you to concentrate on your body and forget your daily stress. 
  • Massage helps you sleep better and deeper. If you have insomnia, try to sign up for a regular massage. It will help your mind and body relax and so assist in restoring your sleep.
  • Overall, massage relieves the symptoms of arthritis, helping you live a life without chronic pain. Regular sessions may restore even your daily productivity.

Types Of Massage That Benefit Arthritis

Massaging a bare back

You might find some massage techniques better than others for your arthritis. As a result, we've listed a few below that you can try or mix and match.

However, whatever you decide, you'll likely need to sign up for regular sessions to receive your health benefits.  

Therapeutic Massage

Therapeutic is also known as relaxation massage. It is well-known around the world and widely practised in healing arthritis symptoms. 

During this type of massage, you will feel circular movements, kneading, and long strokes to relieve muscle tension and restore proper blood circulation. The pressure can be either deep or light, based on the situation.

The technique is effective at stopping headaches and restoring healthy sleep. It is widely used after gym sessions and is a perfect way to finish your busy day.

Deep Tissue Massage

This massage is also known as a remedial massage. It concentrates on the most problematic areas in your body, for instance, your arms, legs, back, shoulders or neck, and aims to stop chronic pain.

It is called deep tissue because the masseuse uses a technique to get into the deeper layers of your muscle tissue with firmer pressure. It may not work after one session, so you'll need to receive regular deep tissue massages to feel all the benefits.

It is also best to search for a specialist in this type of massage. Pay attention to reviews and the quality of the massage promised. Otherwise, you'll feel only a lingering soreness if the massage is not professionally applied. 

Lymphatic Massage

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may experience poor lymph flow as the disease progresses. Along with tissue swelling, joint pain increases, joints lose their function, and the skin changes color. 

Like blood in the circulatory system, lymphatic fluid is always moving. If it stops, swelling can occur as lymph fluid builds up, often in the arms or legs. 

As a result, a lymph drainage massage, or a detox massage, might help in the treatment of your arthritis. In this type of massage, the masseur provides light and gentle strokes to encourage the movement of lymph fluids throughout the body.

Shiatsu Massage

Shiatsu Massage is an alternative technique involving manual pressure applied to specific points on the body to relieve tension and pain. A masseuse can perform it for you, or you can apply it to yourself with the right massager tool - like an electric massager for runners.

Shiatsu is usually applied on the knees and elbows. It helps to loosen the pressure in the joints, forcing them to stretch and rotate. Each area of pain requires a different intensity of the massage. 

While you can use Shiatsu massage at home, we recommend you attend several sessions in a professional massage salon to learn the technique first.


Reflexology is a type of massage that involves applying different amounts of pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. It's based on the theory that these body parts are connected to specific organs and body systems.

The massage has similar roots to Shiatsu. They both come from Asian health practices and share one central philosophy - that creating pressure on one area of the body will help other body parts to heal. 

Reflexology uses the pressure on the toe of your right foot, for example, to get rid of headaches. Apart from easing the pain, it helps lower anxiety and stress levels.

Swedish Massage

Swedish massage provides help to patients who suffer from a degenerative joint illness, rheumatism, and chronic pain. It removes the stiffness from joints and relieves tense muscles. Its central focus is the top layer of tissue.

The technique uses gliding and sliding movements for relaxation and kneading to reach the muscles above the tissue. The motions can restore healthy blood flow. 

A professional massage therapist can also offer you shaking or tapping movements to loosen the muscles. Usually, the therapist can offer all these techniques during the session.

Types Of Arthritis

We recommend visiting your doctor to understand what type of arthritis you have, so you can better choose the most helpful massage to match. Remember to also consult a doctor about your plans to go through massage therapy. 

To prepare you, here are the most common types of arthritis:

  • Osteoarthritis is widely spread around the country. It is known for stiff muscles and the damage the disease provides to the nervous system, causing chronic pains. A popular remedy is to undergo deep tissue massage regularly. After some time, if the joint improves, you can limit massage procedures;
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder of the autoimmune system needing constant attention and treatment. The body attacks its joints, mistaking it for the enemy. Your doctor will likely prescribe medication to stop the process and massage to assist with the pain. However, take care because not every massage suits this situation. Deep tissue massage, for instance, might worsen the situation. A light massage with strokes from Alexander or Tragger techniques might suit it better; 
  • Gout creates crystals from the uric acids inside the joint. You may notice it on your feet or big toes. The pain caused by gout is intense and can last quite some time. The joints may turn red and swollen. Gout can respond well to massage. In particular, deep tissue or Shiatsu massage may bring relief to the pain.

Conclusion - How To Treat Arthritis With Massage

Hopefully, these recommendations will help you understand the benefits of massage for arthritis and the type of massage that might suit you best.  

However, before starting any treatment, consult your doctor to ensure you pick the correct type of massage to avoid worsening the situation. 

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