Joint Pain and Thai Massage

Many people who suffer muscle pain might think of having a massage to ease out the knots and tension that are the cause, but not so many folk consider massage for joint pain. After all, joints are not made of muscle, so why might massage help?

If a joint becomes inflamed and painful the surrounding muscles are likely to go into spasm to immobilise the joint, which makes good sense, up to a point. The trouble is that this spasm can become chronic (long-term) and in time cause other muscles to go into spasm as well, escalating the problem.

This restricts the joint’s movement, pulling the joint into itself, exaggerating wear and tear as well as making it difficult for the lubricating synovial fluid to adequately reach all around the joint. The result is misery for the sufferer, as there are few things worse than unremitting long-term pain; all the more so if the sufferer feels there is no hope of relief other than daily painkillers and anti-inflammatories. Yet a skilled and focused massage can loosen out the affected muscles, improving¬† joint lubrication and mobility and reducing the burden of pain.

Thai massage is very well suited to tackling this type of problem, as the skillful deep-tissue Thai massage techniques work very well on the large and deep muscles that are typically involved with hip and knee joint problems.

Will it work in every case? Certain disease processes can put a limit on how much can be achieved, such as when a joint is severely eroded by arthritis, or when diet is playing a significant part in the inflammatory process. (One of our medical herbalists would be the person to see in these instances.) Unfortunately there are no treatments that will resolve every single presentation, but most cases should respond to Thai massage with some welcome relief of symptoms.

Hip and knee pain are common presentations for Anya in her Thai massage practice here at the Evergreen Clinic. The muscles around the joint can be quite tender and the therapist may have to go fairly easy at first, but as the muscles loosen out the massage can go progressively deeper as the joint and surrounding muscles become more mobile and less painful. Ideally treatment should be weekly at first for a few weeks, the frequency reducing as the situation improves, reaching a point where just a monthly top-up treatment can keep things under control.

Thai massage, a welcome drug-free approach to tackling an unpleasant complaint.

Kevin Orbell-McSean Aug 2011

Comments

One Response to “Joint Pain and Thai Massage”
  1. Thank you for posting; Thai Massage can be very helpful (of course not in every situation as you describe) for joint pain. Working the sen lines and the muscles more deeper and lower, releasing them. But also by doing mobilizations and gentle manipulations of the joints. One thing that i find really helpful in my own Thai Massages is create movement in my massage. A lot of client are lacking movement, and by creating movement, the body and the joints start the move more freely

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