Massage therapy can soothe pain, relax stiff muscles, and reduce the swelling that accompanies arthritis. Massage and gentle stretching help maintain a joint's range of motion.
If you have osteoarthritis, gentle massage can help ease the pain. Start by putting a little vegetable oil or massage oil on your fingertips. Then work slowly around the affected joint, making small, gentle circles with your fingertips. It's best to avoid massage directly on the joint; stay just above and below it with your fingertips. Work on the area around the joint for three to five minutes each day.
Gentle massage may also help reduce swelling in rheumatoid arthritis. Use the effleurage stroke to work the muscle and tissue around the joint with your fingertips. Make sure you use oil or cream on your fingers to make the massage more gentle. Work the area for five to ten minutes a day.
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