Arthritis & Joint Pain

Joint pain can occur for many reasons, most of which can be effectively addressed with bodywork techniques, but arthritis is one of the most common causes. There are two main types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is due to lack or cartilage in the joint due to ‘wear & tear’, joint injury and old age. Without sufficient cartilage to cushion/protect the ends of the bones, they rub together causing damage and irritation. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an auto-immune condition whereby a persons own immune system attacks the joint capsule causing inflammation and damage. The most common type is OA and people often falsely believe only elderly people get this. Unfortunately this is not the case and often younger individuals get OA through sports such as running, manual work and being overweight. People often think physical therapy cannot help with OA because, of course, a therapist cannot physically put new cartilage into clients joints. However, massage around the joint, traction techniques and joint mobilisations improve the joints health & circulation, encouraging cartilage repair and slowing joint degeneration. Also allot of the pain associated with both OA and RA is due to painful ‘trigger points’ in the muscles/ligaments/tendons around the joint, which can be treated with trigger point therapy, reducing associated pain. Advanced stretching and Thai massage techniques are used to reduce joint stiffness and ease arthritis symptoms. Myofascial release & mobilisations are also used to break down fascial adhesions within affected joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also benefit from bodywork therapy but treatment should be between acute ‘flare-ups’. There are many other causes of joint pain including soft tissue injury, tight muscles/fascia, muscle imbalances and referred muscular pain, all of which I can effectively address with bodywork therapy!

Alton Advanced Bodywork is Kipp Clark; an Advanced Clinical Massage Therapist and specialist in Chronic Pain Treatment who treats clients in Alton, Fleet, Hampshire and Surrey.

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