Hand Massage for Arthritis

Benefits of Hand Massage for Arthritis

For many of us, getting a massage can seem like a luxury reserved for special occasions.
However, for those with hand pain (including pain associated with arthritis), regular hand massage has been proven to decrease anxiety, improve strength and reduce pain.

Research conducted at the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine found that a combination of hand massage from a therapist and self–hand massage is likely to be effective in the easing of hand pain caused by arthritis and other conditions. The study analyzed adults who received a massage on their affected hand(s) by a therapist once a week and also performed self- hand massage daily.  Results showed that the combination of massages could possibly reduce hand pain up to 57 percent.

With results like that, it’s no wonder so many people have begun to understand the importance of making massage part of their everyday journey to better health. And while in the past, massage may have been seen as an infrequent luxury, businesses such as Massage Envy have established themselves around the idea of making massage accessible and convenient for everyone. For those with painful arthritis in their hands, coupling regular massage therapy with self-massage will have an even greater impact. Massage therapists are trained experts in addressing pain brought on by various physical conditions and their work can provide daily relief from the discomfort and lack of mobility brought on by arthritis.

Tips for Self-Hand Massage

While at home, there are a number of techniques that allow you to practice a hand massage on yourself in order to gain relief from arthritis pain.

One method of self-hand massage is called milking. You do this by gripping your fingers on the top of your forearm with your thumb on the underside. Applying moderate pressure, move your massaging hand from your wrist to your elbow and back again, slightly pulling your flesh between them.

This method can also be used on the hand by placing the thumb on the top of your hand at your wrist and your index finger at the bottom. Just like the arm, apply moderate pressure and pull to the end of each finger and your palm.

Other Benefits of Hand Massage

Aside from the obvious pain relief benefits demonstrated by the research out of the Touch Research Institute, psychological benefits, such as reduction in levels of depression and anxiety, are shown occur through regular massage.

Who knew that becoming a Champion of Yes would also mean being able to relax a bit?

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4 thoughts on “Benefits of Hand Massage for Arthritis

  1. I suffer with thumb arthritis it’s very sore at times it can get in my way when I can’t open a jar of jam or coffee it’s so hard they get really sore at the base of the thumb and they burn and swell up I got X rays taken a few weeks ago of my thumbs and hands they were badly affected with osteo-arthritis I’ve also got it in my feet, ankles, in my spine affected nd neck it’s all very sore thank you

    1. I know how you feel Janice. No fun at all! My job requires me to use my hands extensively and some days it’s all I can do to make it through the day. I hope that you find some relief soon 🙂

  2. As a Certified Hand Therapist I agree that massage is a wonderful tool for pain management. You can use a small rubber bouncy ball on a table and roll your hand over top or look for a small massage tool to help roll away fascial tightness and muscle stiffness. If you are suffering from OA in the basal thumb joint also called cmc joint. It is also important to keep thumb in neutral. Neutral position for the cmc joint is achieved when the thumb is held away from the index finger–like in a handshake position.

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