Friday, September 25, 2015

Osteoarthritis and the Benefit of Massage Therapy

Osteoarthritis Knee Pain - Academy Massage Therapy - Massage Therapist Winnipeg
Osteoarthritis is a painful, often debilitating disease that is the most common form of arthritis, affecting millions of people worldwide - and with no discrimination when it comes to age. Although osteoarthritis can damage any joint in your body, the disease most commonly affects the weight-bearing joints in your hands, knees, hips and spine. Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop gradually and include Pain, tenderness, swelling and stiffness, loss of flexibility, hearing or feeling a grating sensation when the joint is used.

The joints in the body are connected by a firm, fibrous connective tissue called Articular Cartilage. Articular Cartilage functions as a shock absorber and, if healthy, helps to facilitate smooth joint motion, allowing bones to glide over one another with minimal friction. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage wears down.

Without the protection of Articular Cartilage bone rubs against bone. There are several causes as to why the cartilage may start to break down. It can and commonly does occur with age, but the cartilage may also become damaged as the result of an injury. In addition, a genetic predisposition can cause osteoarthritis.  Being overweight is another contributing factor as it increases the risk of cartilage wearing down in the hip, knee, and ankle joints. Also, fractures may bring about the onset, or long-term overuse from sports or other athletic activities. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease for which there is no cure. As the disease advances in severity, the density of the existing cartilage becomes thinner until it wears out completely. At this point, many sufferers seek surgery as the primary solution to the distress they experience. However, there are alternative treatments to the discomfort and oftentimes lengthy recovery period following surgery that can relieve the symptoms of pain and stiffness.

One such option is massage therapy. Chronic osteoarthritis has been shown to respond well to massage, which aids in decreasing pain, and increasing mobility. Massage is a safe, non-invasive, drug-free, all natural alternative for those suffering from osteoarthritis. Massage not only relieves the pain associated with osteoarthritis but can also improve flexibility and mobility in the affected areas. Massage encourages and increases the flow of blood, promoting oxygen to help heal the afflicted area. Additionally, massage can eliminate the toxins and inflammatory substances that have built up in the area, as well as decrease stress and instill a feeling of wellbeing. There are many forms of massage, each with its own set of benefits. These include Trigger point, Reiki, Shiatsu, Swedish, and Reflexology. At Academy Massage, our therapists are trained to utilize the technique best suited to your specific condition.

Our therapists also encourage a proactive health program that includes a healthy diet, drinking plenty of fluids and following a proper regular exercise schedule, all of which are intended to allow you to manage and overcome the pain and the strain of osteoarthritis and enjoy the full strength and potential of your body.

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