Great news! Recent research supports what we, as committed massage therapy advocates have known for years. Yes, the recent data from a study conducted by Tiffany Field PhD, recently published in ‘Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice’ showed without a doubt, that moderate pressure massage helps arthritis knee pain. Not only that, range of motion was also increased.
Tiffany Field, PhD is the director of the ‘Touch Research Institute in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Miami, School of Medicine’ which conducts research funded by NIH, March of Dimes and several corporations on the effects of alternative therapies such as massage therapy.
Research on Therapeutic Massage Helps Arthritis Knee Pain
The research involved Medical School staff and faculty who had arthritis knee pain. They were randomly assigned to receive moderate pressure massage therapy or they were put on a waiting list – which was the control group. The participants were asked to report on pain, stiffness and function. The researchers also used an evaluation by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Range of motion as well as pain associated with range of motion was assessed before and after the last sessions.
This is what they found. The pain associated with arthritis of the knee was significantly reduced and the range of motion was increased when they were given moderate pressure massage therapy. Moderate pressure massage on both the hamstrings and the quadriceps was applied and was found to be essential in producing the effective results. Both internal and external range of motion increased and the associated pain decreased.
Other Benefits to Therapeutic Massage for Arthrisit Knee Pain
There were other benefits as well. A Goniometer was used to measure the angles associated with the change in range of motion. They found that standing and supine flexion increased, walking speed increased and walking pain decreased as well. They also used evaluation by means of WOMAC, which stands for the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index. Using this WOMAC test, they once again found that pain, activity and total scores decreased, as well as improvement in sleep disturbance scores.
Tiffany Field says that what matters the most is the level of pressure used in the massage. She favors moderate to light. “The critical thing is using moderate pressure,” says Field. “Light pressure, just touching the surface of the skin or brushing it superficially, is not getting at those pressure receptors. Light pressure can be stimulating, not relaxing.” Her 2010 study, published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, showed that stimulating pressure receptors, or nerves under the skin that convey pain-reducing signals to the brain, with moderate pressure, results in a reduction of symptoms.
Field previously conducted research to show the benefits of massage on painful hand or wrist arthritis as well. In 2006 the study group was given four weekly massages from a therapist and taught to massage their sore joints daily at home. Just a 15-minute, moderate pressure massage per day resulted in reduced pain and anxiety, and increased grip strength as measured on comparative pre- and post-therapy tests.
San Diego Therapeutic Massage Special for October.
If you live in San Diego, CA, please take advantage of the ‘special’, special that our skilled, licensed massage therapist, Romy Frank, is offering for the whole month of October. Receive a 90 minute, full body therapeutic massage for only $80.00. That’s right, $50.00 off the regular price.
Of course, your goals for massage may vary. You may be interested in relieving anxiety and stress, or you may even feel like just being pampered. Whatever your needs are, guaranteed, they will be met with Romy. She views massage therapy as a form of healing body, mind and soul and she always achieves this through meaningful hands-on therapy that is performed with mindful techniques.