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Osteoarthritis of knees - How can massage help?

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by Penny Wade

As some of you will know arthritis anywhere in the body can be very painful and knees are no exception!

Risk factors

1. Age - over 45 hyears

2. Being overweight -  knees are weight bearing joints and body chemicals are produced by excess body fat that damages joints.

3. Injury or overuse - golf, skiing, tennis, netball, football and soccer are all sports prone to give you knee injuries and subsequent arthritis later in life. 

4 Genetics - primarily women. Postural misalignment and bone deformities.

5. Vocation - Professional athletes, landscapers, roofers, brick layers, computer work, carrying heavy items. 

Benefits of massage

  • Decreases pain and stiffness
  • Increases the function of knees, sleep anmd quality of life
  • Poor sleep triggers the release of natural pain chemicals in the body. Massage improves sleep by releases endorphins to reduce pain.
  • Massage will decrease heart rate and cortisol levels, increase blood flow and lymph to repair the area.
  • Cold packs are better than hot packs to decrease swelling and improve strength and function of the arthritic knee. Heat is good during rehab but it may increase inflammation.

How can you help yourself?

a) Lose weight - Loosing  only 0.5 kg relieves 2kg of pressure on the knee

b) A mediteranean diet is best as it is anti inflammatory.

c) Mind/body therapies - massage, physiotherapy, chiropractic, Tai Chi, Qui Gong, meditation and acupuncture can all help

d) Supplements and herbs - Glucosamine/chondroitin, fish oils and herbal mixes. Herbs such as Boswellia, celery seed, willow bark, cucurmin are just some of the herbs available. 

 

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