Should you consider a massage while suffering from gout?
We all love getting a massage but for us gout sufferers can a massage add relief to a gout therapy or cause problems for your gout? One thing is for sure and as stated by massage professionals through their professional guidelines, if you happen to be suffering from a gout attack, a massage should be completely avoided since a massage can do further damage to the affected joint. Any direct pressure could further irritate and inflame the affected area. Remember we are dealing with sharp uric acid crystals here! During a period of inflammation you need to rest the affected joint as much as possible. But anytime before and after a period of inflammation or gout attack, it is wise to massage the affected joints to increase blood circulation in that area and get your joint back into shape. If you suffer from a flare-up, it is also tolerable to slightly self-massage the affected area as much as you can bare it, in order to get the blood circulating again and soften the tissues. Apply as much pressure as you like.
There are studies that have been conducted on arthritis patients that can help us gain some knowledge. The Touch Research Institute based out of the University of Miami conducted a study with 22 adults divided in two groups who suffered from wrist and hand arthritis and had the patients receive a 1 hour massage on weekly basis for 4 weeks and allowed the patients to self-massage their wrists and hands on a daily basis. Patients in the massage group reported less pain and greater relief than the group that did not massage.
Another 2006 study involving 68 who suffered from osteoarthritis of the knee, a joint commonly affected by gout sufferers, were also split into two groups. The first group received weekly Swedish massages for about 8 weeks. Again the other group did not receive any such therapy. The patients who received the massages reported reduced pain and improved mobility of the knee proving that massage therapy is an effective treatment of arthritis.
The health benefits of massage are plentiful and beneficial to the gout sufferer. Massage that focuses on the entire body but particularly in the areas where previous gout attacks have stricken can enhance the body’s natural healing mechanisms by stimulating your metabolism, improving your blood circulation to the damaged joints and surrounding tissues. The massage therapy will promote the absorption of uric acid deposits around the affected joint. This will reduce your pain in the future and limit any spasms from tense joints or muscles. A message therapy should compliment your overall gout diet and lifestyle, as well as your doctor’s instructions, try and have a few massages a few times a year. A massage should only be done by an experienced massage therapist to avoid any mishaps.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris
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