Massages can help your osteoarthritic (OA) knee!
Massage has been shown to be a useful adjunct to compliment exercise and weight loss in the management of painful conditions such as arthritis.
A study conducted by Adam Perlman and colleagues (1) studied the effects of massages on people with OA knees.
They compared a weekly 1-hour full body Swedish massage, to a 1-hour light touch massage, to peoples’ usual care.
The results found that after the initial 8 weeks, the Swedish massage group had significantly improved Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) scores compared to the other groups. This self-administered assessment measures peoples’ pain, stiffness, and physical function for people with hip and knee OA.
This study suggests that for short-term pain relief and improved physical function (up to 8 weeks), a weekly 1-hour full body Swedish massage can be beneficial.
This is GREAT considering the alternatives are usually pharmacological, which can often be over-prescribed or ineffective and may have harmful long-term effects.
Deep tissue massage is also a useful adjunct for those patients waiting for a total knee replacement as it helps to relieve tight posterior chain muscles preparing the limb for the upcoming surgery
Perlman, A., Fogerite, S., Glass, O., Bechard, E., Ali, A., Njike, V., Pieper, C., Dmitrieva, N., Luciano, A., Rosenberger, L., Keever, T., Milak, C., Finkelstein, E., Mahon, G., Campanile, G., Cotter, A. and Katz, D. (2018). Efficacy and Safety of Massage for Osteoarthritis of the Knee: a Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 34(3), pp.379-386.