For many, dealing with the pain of arthritis is the most difficult part of the condition, as the 50 million people in the U.S. with arthritis know all too well. Simply put, pain is your body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong, but that doesn’t mean you simply have to accept it. The Arthritis Foundation advises people to think of pain as a signal to take action.
There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis, the most common of which are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). OA, or degenerative joint disease, is a chronic condition characterized by the breakdown of the joint’s cartilage. This causes the bones to rub against each other, resulting in stiffness, pain and loss of movement in the joint. Also a chronic condition, RA is generally caused by the inflammation of the lining, or synovium, of the joints. Long-term joint damage is often the result, leading to chronic pain, loss of function and disability.
One way arthritis sufferers can take some positive action to control their pain is through massage. Massage Envy has partnered with The Arthritis Foundation for Healing Hands for Arthritis on September 19 to share the potential for massage therapy to relieve and control certain symptoms of arthritis. On September 19, 2012, $10 from every one-hour massage and facial session will be donated to the organization. To schedule an appointment, visit http://bit.ly/HHforaA. Bringing warmth and relaxation to afflicted areas, massage also can help give arthritis sufferers a sense of personal control over their pain.
The Arthritis Foundation recommends:
• When doing self-massage, stop if you feel any pain.
• Don’t massage a joint that is very swollen or painful.
• When giving yourself a massage, use lotion or oil to help your hands glide over your skin.
• If you use menthol gel for massage, always remove it before using a heat treatment to prevent burns.
• If you have a professional massage, make sure the massage therapist has experience working with people who have arthritis.