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The 7 Things that Only People With Arthritis Understand

  • Getting a full night’s rest and still being exhausted isn’t unusual. 

Most people with arthritis suffer from sleeplessness. 98 percent of people report energy-sapping fatigue, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Deep sleep comes much more difficultly because of tension and joint pain. While those who don’t suffer from arthritis may think that tired is just tired, if you have arthritis, you know that the level of fatigue experienced can truly affect your life. The constant battle against pain and stiffness takes a toll. Massage is a great way to deal with fatigue as it stimulates blood circulation and lymph systems which expedites the delivery of energy-giving nutrients to cells. This leaves the body feeling more refreshed and rejuvenated. You will also be able to fall to sleep more easily at night because massage relaxes the nervous system, leaving you in a state of deep relaxation and calm. 

  • Arthritis isn’t just “minor aches and pains.” 

One of the biggest misconceptions about arthritis is that it primarily involves minor aches and pains. The confusion is largely due to arthritis’ portrayal in the media. Magazine advertisements and television commercials regularly show those who suffer from arthritis dancing, running or becoming more active, after merely taking an over-the-counter medication. These images tend to minimize and trivialize arthritis pain as something that is easily treatable. Unfortunately, arthritis diagnosis and treatment is much more complex as it affects people in all stages of life and comes with varying symptoms. While over-the counter medications may help some, doctor prescribed treatments in addition to alternative medicine such as massage therapy can be the solution for others. 

  • The pharmacy greets you by name and pulls your order when they see your car pull up. 

If you suffer from arthritis, you are very familiar with your pharmacy. Trips to the pharmacy are a part of your weekly routine. If you want to cut down on the amount of medication needed for pain relief, massage could be a beneficial complement to your doctor-prescribed arthritis treatment. Massage helps reduce inflammation, pain, and stiffness, and improve range of motion, hand grip strength and overall function of the joints.

  • Symptoms can come at the drop of a hat

Arthritis pain, fatigue, and other symptoms can fluctuate. You can feel fine one minute and the next minute, you’re in severe pain. The intensity and frequency of pain varies and can occur without warning or for no apparent reason: it’s the nature of arthritis. This aspect of arthritis is hard to come to terms with for those who have the disease, and it is nearly incomprehensible for those who don’t have arthritis. 

  • Arthritis isn’t just your grandmother’s disease. 

Rheumatoid arthritis can strike at any time and is a direct consequence of your immune system going awry. People of all ages suffer from arthritis. 

Even children — according to the American College of Rheumatology, approximately 300,000 US youngsters suffer from juvenile arthritis.

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  • Arthritis pain isn’t just in your joints.

While the physical limitations of arthritis can affect a person physically, there can be an emotional toll as well. When you can’t do what you’re used to doing physically, or your disability affects your roles and responsibilities at work or home, emotions are stirred. You may become frustrated, angry, sad, or depressed. You may feel guilty and your self-esteem may take a hit. The more arthritis affects "normal" life, the more intensely your emotions may be affected. The soothing and caring touch of massage has been proven to reduce anxiety, stress and feelings of depression by releasing “feel good” hormones such as serotonin and dopamine.

  • Some days are just about trying to feel better. 

Because arthritis is a chronic condition with no cure, managing pain and slowing progression is a main concern for most patients. The goal of treatment is to control pain, slow disease progression, and manage the disease so that the arthritis patient can have a good quality of life and as much normalcy as possible. Massage therapy can be a great tool to incorporate into your treatment plan as it increases circulation and lymphatic drainage. Studies show that massage therapy led to reduction of inflammation, pain, and stiffness, and improvement in range of motion, hand grip strength and overall function of the joints. Living well with arthritis is the ultimate goal until a cure can be found.

If you suffer from arthritis, you know these things to be true. Massage therapy can help you live more comfortably with arthritis. Call a Massage Heights Retreat today to request a reservation.

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