From Integrative Health Care’s 12/7/16 article, Massage’s Powerful Role in Relieving Pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis, by Leslie DeMatteo, LMT, MS, I feel she really must have researched many types of autoimmune arthritis maladies! Rheumatoid arthritis typically affects the small joints and is the most-common form of the autoimmune arthitises. Inflammation of the synovium, the lining of the joint, causes an inability of it to produce synovial fluid, so this decreases movement ability, and, over time, even actually damages the bone. Moderate pressure massage works best at pain reduction and increasing mobility (as well as reducing depression and anxiety!). In a study by Field, et.al, 2013, moderate pressure did both those wonderful things and increased grip strength compared to light pressure! In 1997, another study by Field, et.al. showed that the stress hormone, cortisol, reduced immediately for RA patients! In 2011, a study by Cubick, et.al, showed that myofascial massage 3x/week over 2 weeks provided significant pain relief from RA symptoms. Deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy can cause a flare up of inflammation, especially near affected joints. If there is no inflammatory response, the patient and therapist can try the work with a little deeper pressure, etc. the next time!
The last article in latest edition of ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork, by Til Luchau, was fantastic! He answered the questions, “Does the amount of SIJ movements relate to pain? And if it does, is more or less movement better?” by going against conventional wisdom. Most people will have pain on one side, the more mobile, of the joint, so a therapist can either “avoid/ignore” that side, thereby increasing mobility on the stiffer side OR work on the already-more-mobile side. Of course, the therapist must adjust after feedback from the patient! He also talked quite a lot about the Interosseous SI Ligament Technique, which embodies nerves and receptors (mechano, proprio, and nocico!), and shares a lot with a common test, the SI distraction or “squish” test! This test/technique can result in less pain and more effectiveness of the aforementioned proprioceptors!
This article, by Whitney Lowe in latest edition of ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork was refreshing! It was that because he talked of a therapist listening (not just assuming) to patients’ complaints of low back and/or nerve symptoms. The human body has A LOT of nerves, and they are EVERYWHERE. A therapist should not only think of the big, obvious nerves. He talked of intervertebral disc pathology that usually causes nerve maladies. I was most excited that he reminded that a therapist should perhaps think that deep (and direction of) pressure will be detrimental to a patient with disc and nerve low back complaints!