Jersey City Massage Therapy for Arthritis Pain
For people with arthritis, rheumatism, and related degenerative bone diseases, pain and stiffness around the joints are daily conditions. The Jersey City arthritis pain treatment specialists of Jersey Premier Pain use massage therapy along with other treatments to relieve the pain and relax the stiffness that comes with arthritis and musculoskeletal disease. Call us at 201-386-8800 for an appointment to learn how we can help relieve your pain.
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a catchall term for several types of bone and joint ailments, which are all characterized by inflammation, swelling, and pain in the affected areas.
- Osteoarthritis. This is the most common type, and what people usually mean when they talk about “arthritis.” Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage cushioning the joints breaks down and the bones rub together. This leads to inflammation of the joint capsule, pain in the bones and muscles surrounding the joint, and decreased movement and stiffness.
- Rheumatoid arthritis. RA is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the lining of the joints. This causes pain, swelling, and eventually deterioration of the joint itself.
- Gout. Not just an ailment of Benjamin Franklin, gout is an inflammatory condition caused by uric acid crystals in the blood, usually due to diet and metabolic disorders. The crystals build up in small blood vessels in the feet and damage the joints. The disease can be treated with medicine and changes in diet, but the joint damage needs to be treated separately.
- Ankylosing spondylitis. This painful condition of the lower spine occurs when the bones and tendons of the back are chronically inflamed and the vertebrae begin to overlap and fuse together. In extreme cases, new bone can form over the joints, rendering the spine immobile.
All these conditions are generally known as “arthritis” and are painful, debilitating, and difficult to treat. At Jersey Premier Pain, we use a variety of alternative treatments to extend the life of the affected joints, increase range of mobility, and reduce pain and inflammation for the patient.
How Does Massage Therapy Help Arthritis?
The pain in arthritis is caused by a condition known as “splinting.” Splinting is the body’s way of trying to support a damaged or injured area by stiffening the muscles around the joint and holding it still. Splinting, or guarding, can be seen in injured athletes hobbling off the field favoring their sprained ankle.
When you have an arthritic knee or shoulder, the muscles have to work extra hard to help hold it in place as well as do their ordinary work of walking, carrying, driving, and so on. Over time, the muscles become stiff and sore from maintaining this position.
In addition, any damage being caused by the arthritis as bones grind together or irritate the joint capsule causes irritation and inflammation, which leads to increased pain. The swelling and redness associated with arthritis is an outward sign of the damage going on inside.
Massage therapy relieves this in multiple ways. By helping the splinting muscles relax, it reduces the irritation and stiffness in the tissue. Relaxing the supporting muscles relieves the constriction of blood vessels, allowing them to remove waste material and bring oxygen to the affected tissues. The relaxation also frees nerves pinched by the tight muscle fibers and ceases stimulating the nerve endings.
Which Types of Massage Therapy are Best?
There are several types of massage therapy practiced at Jersey Premier Pain, and we will review your case carefully to determine which type will best suit your needs. Not all pain management therapies utilize every massage type, and some massage therapies are contraindicated by some conditions.
- Swedish massage. The classic “massage,” this is a gentle-touch massage, useful for full-body treatment, those sensitive to touch or pain, and for metabolic arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. These two types of arthritis do not respond well to deeper or firmer methods of massage but do well with the light touch of Swedish massage.
- Trigger-point massage. A “trigger point” is a localized area of intense muscle tightness. This massage is used to release that point and relax the muscles in a given area. In some types of arthritis, where splinting and guarding are preventing joint movement, trigger-point massage is useful to loosen the area around the joint and allow physical therapy to move the joint freely.
- Deep tissue massage. A slower, deeper technique than Swedish massage, this is not ideal for those who cannot tolerate pain or touch and should be used sparingly for RA or those with brittle bones. However, it is useful for releasing muscle tension, locked joints, and chronic pain points deep within the body.
What Else Should I Know?
- Be sure to tell your massage therapist everything about your likes, dislikes, and preferences. If you dislike being handled a certain way, then your massage will not help and may harm you.
- Tell your therapist about all your medical issues, even if you think they are not related to your arthritis. Some problems, like RA, migraines, and gout, are related to diet or allergies, and your massage therapist can help you better if they know what’s going on with your medical treatment.
- Keep a regular schedule. It used to be that a massage was a luxury or a treat, but massage therapy for arthritis is like any other medical care. It needs to be regular and on the schedule your doctor prescribes if it is to help you. You and your therapist will decide if you can lengthen the time between appointments when things improve.
- Ask questions. Your massage therapist will be glad to answer any concerns or questions you might have about how massage helps, what your treatment is doing, and how you can expect your arthritis to progress during and after your therapy.
Get Started on Pain Relief Today
Remember, the massage therapists at Jersey Premier Pain are here to help you treat your arthritis pain, recover mobility, and live the way you ought to live. Our Jersey City team will do our best with all our treatments to get you back on the road to recovery. Call Jersey Premier Pain at 201-386-8800 or visit our website and make an appointment so we can review your case and design a course of treatment now.