Massage Is Great for Your Whole Body, Even Your Arms and Hands
Arthritis is one of the highest causes of disability in America and wrist pain is a concern for vast numbers of people. It is also the leading cause behind high health costs and lowered quality of life. Stiffness, pain, and lack of strength associated with arthritis and wrist conditions can lead to reduced activity and limited range-of-motion. While medications and topical remedies can keep arthritis and wrist pain at bay but, massage therapy is one of the most effective methods according to several clinical studies.
Massage therapy offers numerous benefits and is highly recommended even for those who suffer acute pain in their wrist and hands. According to studies, consistent massage particularly full body massage alleviates pain caused by osteoarthritis and significantly improves mobility. By massaging your entire body you can help yourself to feel better and when you pay particular attention to your arms and wrists it can provide much-needed relief.
Benefits of Massage for Your Hands and Arms
The health benefits of massage therapy are very well-documented, and a hand massage is no exception. It is strangely incredible how good having your hands massaged feels, it can help ease muscle tension, and can even reduce pain. There’s also an added bonus to this when you’re a person whose hands work very hard.
Studies have shown that having a quality hand massage just once a week, and keeping your wrists and hands limber with stretches, can help lessen the pain associated with several conditions, such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and neuropathy.
A hand massage even has the potential to better your overall health and well-being in a plethora of ways. A 2011 study showed that the benefits of a hand massage can include:
- Lessened hand pain
- Minimized anxiety
- Better mood
- Better sleep
- Better grip strength
According to quite a bit of other research, getting a regular massage can also help lower your blood pressure. This can help with pain management for a variety of conditions including those that might affect your hands.
Massage is also shown to help a person relax and reduce their stress level. This can also help to reduce pain in general and provide a boost of serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins that act as natural pain killers.
A 2017 review found that massage can be beneficial for:
- pain syndromes, such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia
- high blood pressure
- autoimmune conditions, like asthma and multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- And much more.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the hand conditions that research has shown could benefit from a hand massage.
Arthritis in your hands can be so painful it becomes debilitating. People with arthritis in there hands have on average 75% less strength in their hands than those who don’t have the condition. Simple tasks such as unscrewing a jar or gripping a door knob can be potentially be impossible.
A 2011 study found that participants had less pain and greater grip strength following a weekly quality hand message and daily self-message at home. The same study also found that the participants had less anxiety and depression as well as better quality sleep. Imagine what it could be like if you could enjoy regular massage whenever you want right at home?
Massage can relieve stiff muscles, relaxes tissues, tendons, and ligaments, and makes joints more flexible. Too much physical exertion especially when you’re playing sports can cause sore muscles, tears in tissues, and joints causes injuries. Massage therapy helps these muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints heal and it can do the same to muscles and joints that are irritated because of arthritis.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain, numbness, and weakness in the wrist, and is unfortunately a very common nerve disorder, according to the American College of Rheumatology. It affects roughly 10 million Americans.
As reported in a 2016 review, massage therapy can help reduce carpal tunnel pain and it found that those with carpal tunnel syndrome who enjoyed regular massages reported lower levels of pain, anxiety, depression as well as improved grip strength.
The participants with carpal tunnel syndrome received two 30-minute massages per week for six weeks. By the second week, a significant improvement in the severity of their symptoms and hand function was seen.
Massage for carpal tunnel relief focuses on the wrist, but it could also include the arm, shoulder, neck, and hand. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, this type of massage can vary but is typically quite successful for immediate improvement of symptoms. Compression massage that addresses the entire arm can really help with carpal tunnel and nearly all professional quality massage chairs provide that.
Neuropathy is nerve damage that can cause pain in your hands and feet among other places. It can also cause numbness, tingling, and other irregular sensations. Massage can help by improving circulation and boosting blood flow to the area. Diabetes is a common cause of this type of neuropathy and it can also be the result of chemotherapy, as the drugs can cause nerve damage.
Several studies have indicated that massage can relieve the pain and uncomfortable sensations associated with neuropathy whether caused by diabetes or chemotherapy. It can be very relaxing as well and since chronic pain comes with a lot of stress, that can be a huge help when it comes to quality of life.
A 2013 study compared moderate pressure with light pressure massage for those with rheumatoid arthritis and focused on the upper limbs. After a month of weekly massage therapy and daily self-massage, the moderate pressure massage group had a more significant improvement in pain, grip strength, and range of motion than the others. And while the precise joint that is inflamed is best avoided, massaging the surrounding areas can greatly help to relieve pain, stiffness, and swelling overall.
What Type of Massage Works Best?
There are different techniques of massage used for different concerns, and they can each have their place when addressing wrist pain and arthritis. The main purpose of each of them is typically to relieve pain, reduce stress, boost relaxation, or aid in healing. When it comes to arthritis, there are a number of proven massage techniques that assist in reducing pain and improving mobility.
- Swedish Massage - This massage uses long, fluid strokes to stimulate the muscles and tissues. The most common and well-known type of massage, this technique focuses on stroking, gliding, kneading, tapping, and vibration. It can help to reduce muscle soreness and stiffness and improve blood circulation. It is also found in nearly every massage chair.
- Shiatsu - This is a Japanese massage technique that addresses specific areas and also relieves pain in different areas of the body. Arthritis sufferers can enjoy it because the pressure and strokes differ depending on the amount and type of muscle pain you’re dealing with. This can also be found in some of the top massage chairs.
- Lymphatic massage - This is a type of detox massage that targets the excess fluid in the body, which can cause inflammation. It uses light and patterned strokes and can improve your circulation and assist in helping your body drain the fluid it doesn’t need. For arthritis, this technique can remove one of the main culprits of joint pain- excessive fluid. This is replicated in massage chairs as the airbag compression massage found in the arms and calves.
Knowing the benefits of massage for arthritis, you can see how it can be so helpful and having a massage chair is definitely the better way to go when it comes to daily massage. Scheduling and driving to and paying for spa massages can all be too much. With a massage chair, you can tap into the benefits from the comfort of your home whenever you need.
When Not to Have a Massage?
- If your arthritis is severe and visibly inflamed, it’s best not to use your massage chair on the affected areas and instead go to your doctor instead.
- If you are going to another medical therapy session that might make you too sore if you get a massage.
- If your doctor has not given their approval for receiving a massage because of your condition or any other condition that might be present.
The Bottom Line
Scientific evidence has shown that regular massage can assist to ease pain, improve hand strength, and decrease feelings of stress and anxiety. Hand massage can complement treatments for arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, neuropathy, as well as many other conditions.
It’s a good investment in your overall health and can provide you with ongoing benefits.
If you do have hand pain or wrist pain, a massage chair that has airbags that reach down the arm can provide a great deal of relief. They can allow you to take advantage of the benefits of wrist and arm massage whenever you wish and give you the chance to enjoy a regular massage on the rest of your body too.
When you’re looking at massage chairs for relief in your arms, wrists, and hands just make sure that the chair you are sitting in covers those areas with the airbags. Depending on your size more or less of the area can be covered.
Finished With Your Research?
You can look into the chairs, techniques, and other benefits of massage in the Learning Center on our website, and you’ll be able to see the physical benefits each of the styles offered and what to be prepared for from them.
If you have any questions or are interested in purchasing your first massage chair, check out our Massage Chair Buying Guide or give us a call. You can even reach out through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With all this in mind, don’t forget about our financing options. We understand that investing in a massage chair is a big decision, and we want to help make that process as simple and stress-free as possible. Our sales representatives are ready and excited to get you into the perfect chair!