Knee pain is one of the most common problems faced by old these days. The knee is an essential part of our body which bears the entire weight of our body and aids in the movement. Any problem concerning knees is a significant problem because it directly affects our motility.
Knee pain primarily results from a condition called osteoarthritis, which occurs from prolonged wear and tear of the joints, resulting in the change in the cartilage of the joints, their lining, and the bone underlying the lining. These changes result in swelling, stiffness, and immobility of the joint along with the pain. There are some other causes as well as an injury or a fracture, muscle pull or twist, which can also result in joint pain.
Massages date back to thousands of years when the use of touch was used for healing purposes and rejuvenation. Various forms of massage techniques have emerged from time to time and are still on the go. Most procedures have been customized for treatment of specific ailments like to relieve pain, release stress, heal injuries, relax muscles, and to prevent further illnesses.
People who suffer chronic symptoms of arthritis must use massage therapy on a regular basis. Self-massage can be done almost daily to relieve stiffness and pain, or to get a good sleep. Sleeping sound also helps reduce pain in joints and muscles and can soothe us to a great extent.
Before undergoing any massage, be sure to consult the doctor and ask him about the kind of massage which is best suited for your arthritis and other medical condition, if any.
Now, we’ll see what are the different types of massages to relieve joint pain?
1. Swedish Massage
This type of massage is the most popular among people. It makes use of fluids, like essential oils, to apply long strokes on muscles and tissues. Its main aim is to relax the muscles and the tissues and get them rid of stiffness and soreness. It also improves circulation and reduces anxiety. It includes five significant strokes:
- Effleurage- It involves gliding and sliding of hands across the skin.
- Friction- It is the movement across the fibers.
- Petrissage- It consists of the kneading of the muscle tissues.
- Tapotement- it is the rhythmic tapping of fingers or knuckles against the skin.
- Vibration- It involves the shaking of the body or body part.
A therapist will adjust the pressure according to the sensitivity and the use of lotion or the oil.
2. Deep Tissue Massage
This type of massage emphasizes manipulation of the top and the thick layers of different muscles and tissues. It may often require intense, integrated pressure on the part of the therapist. It is designed to cater to severe tension, stiffness, or pain in the muscular as well as connective tissues. It may cause soreness, so it is not appropriate for people with arthritis. Application of intense pressure can damage the already damaged joint, so you must make it clear before the massage about your underlying problems. You should check out this article on Healthnine to know the differences between Deep Tissue Massage & Swedish Massage.
3. Ayurvedic Massage
Ayurveda is a natural Indian health remedy that is a blend of herbs, massage, meditation, and yoga. The other name is Abhyanga, and it involves a complete body massage. It is also found to use aromatic oils purposefully because of its spiritual healing property. It has found to relieve knee pain as well, to an extent.
Anma originated in Japan and involves kneading muscles and soft tissues of the body. It does not make use of oil. Anma believes in the idea that ‘an energy flow in the body can be disrupted or blocked, causing illness and pain.’ They believe that ‘massaging can restore the flow and the body’s natural ability to heal itself.’ Their belief is useful in a way that many Japanese people worldwide practice this technique and benefit the ones in need.
5. Thai Massage
Thai massage involves placing the body in yoga-like postures during the length of the session. They vary from flexibility stretching to applying pressure on the affected joints and muscles. It is one of the most popular massages in the world. Care is taken to apply less stress to the affected joints. Know more about this kind of massage on The Culture Trip.
6. Myofascial Release
In this technique, the therapist tries to stretch and release the affected connective tissues by gentle rolling of the skin. No massage tools, oils, or lotions are used.
It is an alternative Asian practice that believes that the application of pressure on specific areas of hands and feet will initiate healing in other parts of the body. It not only aims to relief or heals pain, but also it focuses on reducing anxiety and stress.
It involves bringing the body to specific positions and changing the fascia tissues. It provides relaxation and pain relief, and also restore the body’s posture and range of mobility.
It can be done quickly at your place. You can knead your sore joints, muscles or pressure points, by your hands, elbows, and massage tools. These are mechanized tools, and they generate heat or vibration. It is found to be quite useful in knee pain.
It is again a Japanese technique prevalent in the United States. In this technique, the therapists apply pressure to the required points by making use of palms and fingers in continuous rhythmic motions. It is believed to restore healthy energy in the individual. Oils are not used, and there isn’t any need to take off the clothes.
You must be cautious while undergoing a massage session, if:
- The joint is damaged or eroded due to arthritis
- There is inflammation, skin rash or fever
- You have severe osteoporosis (brittle bones)
- You have high blood pressure
- There are varicose veins
Massage though has beneficial effects and reduces knee pain to an extent, but it is not a medication. It compliments your treatment. You must enjoy the massage experience, and it must not deteriorate your condition of anxiety or pain. So, always consult your doctor and massage therapist before undergoing any massage.