Massage benefits for Arthritis
A regular massage of muscles and joints, whether by trained therapist or by self-massage at home, can lead to a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis, according to Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami, School of Medicine. In Field’s research and other recent studies on the effects of massage for arthritis symptoms, regular use of the simple therapy led to improvements in pain, stiffness, range of motion, hand grip strength and overall function of the joints.
Research has shown that massage can lower the body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol, and boost production of serotonin, which, in turn, can improve mood. Additionally, massage can lower production of the neurotransmitter substance P, often linked to pain, and improve sleep as a result.
So that is all pretty compelling and of course when pain is reduced naturally then the use of pain killers is also reduced and this is a good thing for general health.
In rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane that encloses all the joint parts. This lining, known as the synovial membrane, becomes inflamed and swollen. The disease process can eventually destroy cartilage and bone within the joint.
The most common type of arthritis, osteoarthritis involves wear-and-tear damage to your joint’s cartilage — the hard, slick coating on the ends of bones. Enough damage can result in bone grinding directly on bone, which causes pain and restricted movement. This wear and tear can occur over many years, or it can be hastened by a joint injury or infection.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet While there is no specific “diet” that people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), should follow, researchers have identified certain foods that can help control inflammation. Many of them are found in the so-called Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fish, vegetables and olive oil, among other staples.
Dr James Dowd, who works at the Arthritis Institute of Michigan, has been prescribing vitamin D to people suffering from chronic disorders. Just in case there were any doubts about the importance of vitamin D – the ‘sunshine’ vitamin – two major studies published last week confirmed just how essential it is for good health.
One study found that people with higher levels in their blood were more likely to survive cancer, the other that having very low levels increased your risk of cardiovascular disease. Previous research has linked high levels with fighting off infection and helping with all sorts of chronic problems. But there is a catch: we make most of our vitamin D when our skin is exposed to fairly strong sunlight and we can get more from oily fish and a few foods like cereals that have been fortified with it.