Research studies suggest that patients who experience arthritis pain may benefit greatly from massages. The participants in the study underwent weekly, whole-body massages for two months and not only experienced improvements in pain, but also mobility.
Medications are often recommended to ease symptoms of arthritis, but many patients experience adverse effects. The recent study allows for another option when it comes to pain management for arthritis patients.
The study enrolled 200 patients with osteoarthritis in the knee who were placed in one of three groups: one-hour weekly Swedish massage, light-touch control treatment, and traditional care for osteoarthritis.
After eight weeks, the groups were randomized to either continue with the massages or light-touch therapy every other week, or receive no additional treatment over the course of 52 weeks.
Patients were assessed every two months using a standardized questionnaire called the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index, which measures pain, stiffness, and functional limitations.
At eight weeks, massage was found to significantly improve patients scores compared to the other groups. Massage was found to improve pain, stiffness, and mobility, whereas patients in the other groups did not experience such benefits.
At 52 weeks, those who continued with bi-weekly massages maintained the benefits experienced after eight weeks, but no additional benefits were measured.
The study suggests that massages are a great natural remedy to aid in traditional treatment for arthritis as a means to improve pain and mobility.
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