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Massage, chiropractic care & managing arthritis pain

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A person with blonde hair in a bun is receiving one of the best massages for arthritis on the upper back and neck from another individual against a plain, light gray background. The person getting the massage is unclothed on the upper back and shoulders.
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ah, the golden years. Time to relax, make memories with the family, and bask in the rewards earned from years of hard work.

It’s your time!

But often with age come unwanted guests:

Morning stiffness, decreased range of motion, joint pain, back pain, hip pain, joint inflammation-the list goes on. These troubles can leave you watching from the sidelines during one of the most important periods in your life.

Learn how a visit to the massage therapist, a chiropractor, and some all-natural supplements can help alleviate your arthritis symptoms and help you reclaim your life.

Can massage therapy help with arthritis?

Everybody loves a good massage. Those of us suffering from arthritis perhaps more so than most, as the relieving of tension and pain in the body can do wonders for joint pain and inflammation. A good massage can leave us feeling wonderful for days or even weeks afterward. Massage can also help loosen up tension and pain enough to help those with arthritis prepare for or recover from exercising

Finding the right place to go can be a challenge, but that’s where the internet comes in handy. Do some research online (Google is a great place to start) to locate appropriate massage centers in your area. Most will have a website listing the types of massage offered, price points, and any information that is necessary to know beforehand. If you live in a major metropolitan area, you may have the benefit of a nearby massage school where students often perform massages at a discounted rate, saving you money while allowing the student to perfect his or her craft.

The benefits of chiropractic care for arthritis and inflammation

The primary benefit of pursuing chiropractic care to help with your arthritis pain is that chiropractors are specifically focused on finding mal-adjusted parts of the body, and readjusting them. This can include adjustments to the back and shoulders, and throughout the body, that provide full-body relief from pain and discomfort.

For those with arthritis, it works like this. You go to see a chiropractor. She works your spine into alignment, with a focus on specific areas of pain like the neck or shoulders. However, your arthritis pain — separate from the pain that drove you to the chiropractor’s office — is in your elbows and fingers. 

You are still likely to benefit from the appointment.

Yes, the chiropractor may do some work on your arms and elbows. But the real perk for you is that proper alignment of the spine means less tension is placed on your joints, leading to less pain from added pressure. When your back isn’t out of whack, your posture is better and the pressure on your joints — all over the body — is reduced.

What is acupressure?

Acupressure has been used for thousands of years, applying the same principles as acupuncture to promote wellness and relaxation. You may even think of acupressure as acupuncture without needles. The theory behind acupressure suggests that there are unique points in the body (known as acupoints or acupressure points) located along the channels through which the qi flows. It is believed that these channels can become blocked, causing illness, and that acupressure can help restore balance and health. 

When you receive acupressure, you’ll meet with a practitioner who will use their fingers, palms, elbows, or even their feet to apply pressure to specific acupoints. Depending on your conditions and preferences, your acupressure treatments may also include other methods, such as stretching or massage. 

Can accupressure help reduce arthritis pain?

There are, in fact, numerous studies suggesting that acupressure can have a positive impact on a variety of symptoms. For example, acupressure may help alleviate the swelling and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation throughout the body, but most commonly in the hands and knees. In the joints, this inflammation leads to fluid buildup and degradation, which in turn causes chronic pain. It appears that acupressure, whether used alone or combined with other treatments, can be beneficial for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. 

Acupressure can also help relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis. A 2017 study concluded that patients with knee osteoarthritis who tried acupressure experienced significant improvement when compared with their usual care. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, occurring when the cartilage that cushions your joints wears down with age. While this damage cannot be reversed, symptoms can be managed. Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active are important goals for anyone with osteoarthritis; other treatments such as over-the-counter pain medications, physical therapy, and cortisone injections can also help improve symptoms. Adding acupressure to your osteoarthritis treatment regimen may help you achieve greater levels of pain relief and a higher quality of life overall. 

Managing inflammation key

One common symptom across most types of arthritis is inflammation.

Here are some natural ways to help soothe arthritis pain and reduce inflammation:

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