Is Massage Good for Arthritis? Exploring the Benefits  

Living with arthritis can be a daily challenge. Pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility can significantly impact your activities and overall well-being. Is massage good for arthritis? As a natural, non-invasive approach that could offer some relief, massage therapy for arthritis can be a great option.  

young female massage therapist helping elderly woman with her arthritis

How Massage for Arthritis Works 

Nearly one in five U.S. adults had a massage in the past year. Many sought massages for health reasons like pain management and stiffness – issues common with arthritis. 

While the exact mechanisms of the way massage is good for arthritis, research suggests massage can help lower pain in those with arthritis – but how exactly does it work? 

So, is Massage Good for Arthritis?  

Yes! Massage IS good for arthritis. Here are 2 Ways massage may offer relief: 

Reduced Pain and Improved Mobility 

A 2018 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine showed significant improvements in pain and mobility for knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients receiving weekly, one-hour whole-body massages compared to control groups (source: Arthritis Foundation). This suggests massage can be a valuable addition to your pain management strategy. 

Massage for Hand Arthritis: Targeted Relief for Dexterity Challenges 

A University of Miami study demonstrated the effectiveness of massage for hand arthritis. Participants with hand or wrist arthritis receiving daily, moderate-pressure massages experienced reduced pain and anxiety, along with improved grip strength (source: Arthritis Foundation). This targeted approach can be beneficial for those struggling with hand dexterity due to arthritis. 

What is the Best Type of Massage for Rheumatoid Arthritis? 

Unfortunately, there’s no single “best” type of massage for everyone with rheumatoid arthritis. The most suitable massage will depend on several factors, including your specific symptoms, arthritis severity, and personal preferences. However, here are some general recommendations and massage styles that might be good for your arthritis: 

  • Moderate Pressure Massage: Research by Dr. Tiffany Field suggests moderate pressure is most effective for stimulating pressure receptors and reducing pain. Avoid deep tissue massage, which can be too intense for inflamed joints. 
  • Swedish Massage: This is a widely practiced style that uses long, smooth strokes to promote relaxation and improve circulation. It can be a good option for those new to massage or seeking a gentle approach. 
  • Trigger Point Therapy: This technique focuses on applying pressure to specific muscle knots (trigger points) that can contribute to pain. It can be helpful for targeting pain points related to arthritis, but be sure to find a therapist experienced with this technique for rheumatoid arthritis. 
  • Chair Massage: This option allows you to remain comfortably seated while receiving a massage focused on the upper body, neck, and shoulders – areas commonly affected by rheumatoid arthritis. 

Come See Littleton Your Arthritis Needs  

Living with arthritis can be challenging, but massage therapy is a good, natural approach to managing symptoms. Research suggests massage can reduce pain and stiffness, improve mobility, and even boost mood.  Intrigued? Explore the different massage styles and find a qualified therapist at Littleton Massage to see if massage can become part of your arthritis management plan. Contact us today!  

Scroll to Top