Arthritis is one of the major causes of disability in the United States. The painful condition is also the leading reason for higher lifestyle costs and decreased quality of life. The stiffness, pain, and loss of strength restrict the activities and range of motions for the patients.
While there are some medications and remedies that help keep arthritis at bay. However, there’s one natural remedy for arthritis that causes no side effects or issues at all. Massage Therapy for arthritis is known to offer several benefits and is recommended even for those who have pain in their wrists and hands.
According to studies, regular massage therapy including full-body massages can reduce pain caused by osteoarthritis and improves mobility for arthritis patients. However, the cost of getting regular massages from a therapist adds up and it’s advised to invest in a good back massage chair instead.
Now you might have your reservations about the massage chair being able to alleviate the arthritis pain. Here we will try to answer all the questions that you might have.
Do Massage Chairs Help With Arthritis Pain?
These days there are massage chairs available with 4D rollers, airbags, SL-Track, and feet massage to provide full-body massage to the user. There are also heated massage chairs for thermotherapy that further alleviates the pain in the body. A massage chair will provide a soothing and relaxing effect on the muscles and nerves depending on the type of massage mode you choose on your chair.
This improves the range of mobility in arthritis patients. If you are a chronic arthritis patient, you’ll need to go for a professional massage session but otherwise, a massage chair does a good enough job.
Additionally, a massage chair is intended to alleviate anxiety by putting the body in a relaxed state. It does so by reducing the level of cortisol and boosting neurohormones production. Moreover, a massage chair improves mobility by relieving stiff muscles, tissues, tendons, and ligaments. It also makes joints more fluid for better mobility.
What Type of Massage Is Best for Arthritis?
If left untreated and unattended, arthritis can be quite a debilitating condition. But thanks to modern massage therapy and powerful massage chairs, managing arthritis is now easier than ever. However, not all kinds of massages are beneficial in arthritis.
Only Swedish massage and deep tissue massage have been proven effective in treating arthritic disorders. The Swedish massage treatment is quite effective in providing relief from rheumatism or degenerative joint disease. It does so by removing knots, reducing stiffness, boosting circulation, relieving aches, and reducing stiffness.
Deep tissue massage, on the other hand, is quite similar to Swedish massage except it applies more pressure to target the deeper layer of muscles. Deep tissue massage uses sustained pressure and deeper strokes to massage specific problem areas. If performed by a high-end massage chair, the deep tissue massage is quite beneficial for arthritis patients.
Are Massage Chairs Good for Arthritis in the Back?
Back pain is one of the most common symptoms of arthritis or spinal arthritis. According to a study conducted with people facing chronic low back pain, those who received 10 weekly massage sessions were reported to experience less pain. These people also were better able to perform their daily activities compares to those receiving usual arthritis care.
Numerous studies have also shown that massage can suppress the production and release of the stress hormone called cortisol. It also lowers the levels of arginine-vasopressin, which reduces blood pressure, and also reduces the levels of some inflammatory cytokines.
Additionally, a good massage can improve the production of serotonin, which is a mood-enhancing hormone. As such, massages can ease arthritis pain and alleviate anxiety through various processes.
Should I Massage Arthritis Pain?
Yes, massage can help different forms of arthritis in certain specific ways. To illustrate, if you have rheumatoid arthritis, massage can reduce the swelling of joints by improving healthy circulation through arthritic joints and improving the quality of life. However, avoid massaging the affected joints during an RA flare. As for osteoarthritis, massage can decrease swelling, improve joint mobility, and provide stress relief.
If you own a massage chair, begin with the Swedish or deep tissue massage mode selected. Choose the lowest setting and speed, to begin with. See for yourself if the massage is helping with the pain. Keep adjusting till you start feeling the difference and feel better. However, as mentioned, don’t get an intense massage during a flare as it will hurt more.
Why Does My Back Hurt After Using a Massage Chair?
When you start using a massage chair regularly, be prepared to experience a hurting back and sore muscles. However, don’t put much thought into it as it’s quite natural. The aching back and sore muscles are part of the holistic healing process that your body is undergoing because of the massage. Modern massage chairs with 3D or 4D rollers to knead, tap, and knock problem areas in your back.
Since these muscle areas are stiff and tight because of the tension, they cause pain. And if some area is causing you pain continuously, your brain reacts by shutting off the pain receptors of that area if possible. When this happens, your brain ignores the pain-causing areas. When the massage chair kneads and rolls these areas, the body starts feeling the hidden but persistent pain in those areas.
Bear in mind that your back will only hurt during the initial days when your body is not accustomed to massages. Another common reason is lactic acidosis. Once your body is accustomed to the massage, your back won't hurt anymore. During the initial days stretch your back a little before getting a massage and use heat therapy for 10 minutes before massage to make your muscles more pliable.
We hope that you found the information that you were looking for, in this article. Massage chairs are indeed beneficial for arthritis patients as it reduces stress and improves mobility. However, if you are experiencing chronic arthritis pain, it’s best to consult a professional and certified massage therapist. Also, don’t worry about the back pain during the initial days of massages as it’s part of the process.