This is usually due to excessive wear to a joint, and is therefore most common in weight bearing joints like the hips, knees, lumbar joints of the spine (including the neck) and fingers. Massage helps to improve the condition of the muscles around the affected joint and usually improve its function. With better function, less calcification and fibrosis are able to form which can help prevent further degeneration. We can also advise on simple exercises and techniques to help maintain flexibility.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
This auto-immune condition affects the body symmetrically and is most common in the hands, elbows, shoulders, feet and knees. With flare ups and remissions, therapists can break down scar tissue increasing flexibility and advise on exercises to help rebuild or maintain the strength and flexibility of the affected joint, especially when in the remission phase.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
This is also an auto-immune condition and is a long-term (chronic) condition in which the spine and other areas of the body become inflamed.
AS tends to first develop in teenagers and young adults. It’s also around three times more common in men than in women. The symptoms of AS can vary, but usually involve:
- back pain and stiffness
- pain and swelling in other parts of the body – caused by inflammation of the joints (arthritis) and inflammation where a tendon joins a bone (enthesitis)
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
These symptoms tend to develop gradually, usually over several months or years, and may come and go over time. In some people the condition gets better with time, but for others it can get slowly worse. Massage helps to improve the condition of the muscles around the affected joint and usually improve its function. We can also advise on simple exercises and techniques to help maintain flexibility and strength in affected areas to help maintain function and potentially prevent further degeneration. Herbal medicine can be helpful and manage inflammation, and acupuncture can also be affective in helping and maintain flexibility and reduce inflammation.
Similar to osteoarthritis this wear affects the intervertebral joints and commonly leads to spinal changes like the ‘Dowagers Hump’. Flexibility is very important to maintain and deep tissue massage treatments alongside exercises can be very helpful.
This is where one of the bones in your spine, known as a vertebra, slips out of position. It’s most common in the lower back, but it can also happen in the mid to upper back or at the top of the spine at the back of your neck.
Massage is very helpful to maintain flexibly in the affected area by working on the soft tissue directly. Massage and acupuncture can also help to reduce the effects of inflammation in the area created by the pars fracture and acupuncture may help if there is any associated nerve pain. Strengthening stabilising muscle groups is very important in this condition and advice can be given.