Downsides of Massage
There aren’t many downsides to getting a massage, but there is one significant disadvantage: getting a massage from a trained therapist can range from $60-200 per hour!
When I first hurt my back as a college student, I found a great massage therapist who I would visit weekly. After a one-hour session, the pain and tightness in my lower back was significantly reduced.
Although the results of those sessions were great, I realized quickly that I couldn’t financially keep up with them. My way of resolving this was to invest in a Shiatsu massage chair; granted the shiatsu massage chair was also expensive, but I used it for years and it was well worth the purchase.
It helped me a fair amount when I had flare-ups or added stiffness on a particular day. Similarly, the start-up cost for any automated massager can be significant but it is well worth the purchase in my experience.
Can Massage Help?
My answer to this question is a confident yes. Although the research on this subject has been limited, studies regarding massage have demonstrated that it is an effective treatment for stress, pain, and muscle tension.
A recent study funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine also found that a 60-minute “dose” of Swedish massage therapy delivered once a week for pain due to osteoarthritis of the knee was effective in reducing the pain attributed to OA after eight weeks.
Because it is being adopted as a legitimate complementary therapy, massage therapy is even being offered for a variety of medical conditions other than osteoarthritis. Some of these diseases include but are not limited to: anxiety, fibromyalgia, headaches, insomnia, myofascial pain syndrome, soft tissue injuries, sports injuries, and TMJ pain.
More research needs to be conducted so we may fully understand the utilities of massage and why it works, it is a relatively safe and worthwhile option to use in the treatment of the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
I do recommend that if you are thinking of beginning a new massage therapy, to consult your primary care doctor to make sure it is safe for you to start the regimen.
Even though I do believe that massage is a good option for relief of the symptoms of osteoarthritis, there is no guarantee that a specific type of massage will alleviate the symptoms of your osteoarthritis.
What? Before you never read any of my articles ever again, let me explain!
Osteoarthritis is a very common and often trivialized disease by many sections of society. However, the field of medicine is learning that it is a more complex entity than was thought of previously.
In fact, some physicians approach osteoarthritis in different joints as separate diseases instead of grouping them together under one umbrella. This means that the osteoarthritis in your hands will potentially react to different treatments differently than the osteoarthritis in your neighbor’s knees or my spine.
That is why massage can have potentially different effects for different osteoarthritis sufferers. This a topic in medicine that will continue to develop and more answers will be revealed in the future. But for the time being, the best thing you can do is have an open mind and try massage therapy for yourself!