Friday, April 11, 2014

Arthritis: Affecting More Than Your Joints

Today over 4.2 million Canadians suffer from arthritis and this staggering statistic includes that more than half of that number are under the age of 65; further that more than 600,000 are so severely affected by the disease that they are unable to hold steady employment. This produces a strain not only on the arthritis sufferer but also on the national economy, which, including loss of productivity coupled with health costs leaves a financial burden of arthritis in Canada at $6.4 billion!

     Arthritis is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints. Arthritis consists of more than 100 different conditions, ranging from relatively mild forms like bursitis to crippling systemic types, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Regardless of the type of arthritis, the symptoms are commonly pain, swelling and joint stiffness. It is wrong to assume that arthritis that is an untreatable condition. There are also preventative measures one can take, such as maintaining a healthy body weight and following a correct diet and exercise regime as well as avoiding risk activities that may contribute to joint injuries. However, there are no guarantees that one can protect oneself from the onset of arthritis as its encroachment can be slow and insidious.

     Receiving proper diagnosis is critical since treatment options vary depending on the type of arthritis. These can range from medications to physical therapy. 

     Massage therapy has become an increasingly popular option in managing arthritis pain. Not only does massage help to soothe sore joints and muscles, it also aids in easing anxiety and promotes better sleep. Another benefit is that massage increases the body's ability to produce endorphins which reduce pain. Recent studies have shown that regular massage therapy sessions have resulted in improvements in pain, stiffness, range of motion, hand grip strength and overall function of the joints. In addition, massage therapy has shown to be effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.

     At Academy Massage our trained therapists understand the difficulty of living with the pain and worry of arthritis and utilize the most effective modern massage methods to help reduce both the soreness and the stress.

     Massage therapy involves working soft body tissues with the hands or an instrument, thus easing the discomfort of the arthritis sufferer by loosening up the affected joints. In addition, when gentle joint stretching is done, it can stimulate the production of synovial fluid, which acts as a cushion and reduces inflammation and pain. Academy Massage employs various massage therapies depending on one's type of arthritis and symptoms. These include deep-tissue massage and reflexology. To this end, it is very important that the arthritis sufferer be specific about where and how the arthritis is affecting him so that safe and proper treatment can be applied.

     While massage therapy cannot cure or halt the progress of arthritis, it can ease the painful symptoms and help improve one's quality of life.

     Speak to one of our qualified professionals to discover if massage therapy might be a treatment option that is right for you.

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