I recently received a phone call from someone with osteoarthritis of the shoulder and they didn’t think massage therapy would help. I explained how massage therapy would help relieve the pressure that was causing the two bones to grind eachother, wearing down the cartilage and bone. Prevention and early detection is key to managing this condition. The sooner the patient can be educated about the resting position of the joint in question, easing the specific muscle tension through stretching and use of heat and/or cold as well as receiving massage therapy to help balance the joint would be beneficial at any stage of osteoarthritis.
I once had an elderly man come see me who was just put on the hip replacement waitlist due to mild osteoarthritis. His symptoms subsided within 3 visits and he took himself off the surgery waitlist. This outcome wouldn’t be possible if he had waited until he couldn’t move his hip to come see me. At that point, the damage is done and the treatment focus would shift to preventing further deterioration until surgery was completed by strengthening the hip muscles to hold it in neutral, thereby decreasing the post operation rehabilitation time.
Another fellow comes to see me every few weeks to help manage his hip and knee pain after his hip replacement surgery 7 years ago. These visits help him enjoy a quality of life that wouldn’t be possible without massage therapy – I just wish I had gotten my hands on him sooner!
Some people believe osteoarthritis is genetic. For the most part, I disagree. It’s typically caused by improper movement patterns resulting from poor posture, repetitive movements, hypermobility or injuries (torn muscles, broken bones etc that affect how the joint moves). Talk about your specific case with your massage therapist today, don’t delay!