Eliminate Knee Pain with Massage Therapy

Posted on June 23rd, 2012 by Shari´ Parks

It would be safe to say that approximately 50% of my clients complain about some type of knee pain, whether it’s a quick on set or chronic pain. Knee pain is one of the most common complaints among the U.S. population, accounting for more than 11 million visits to physicians each year. The knee is the largest joint in the body, and its structural complexity makes it one of the most vulnerable areas for injury. Some discomfort may go away on it’s own if brought on by sudden increase of strain to the joints, but more serious and persistent pain can be eased by regular massage therapy. While massage therapy is not a substitute for medical care, massage therapy can help in coping with joint pain without taking pain medication.

There are various causes of knee pain. Some common reasons include arthritis, Bursitis, kneecap dislocation, illiotibial (IT) band syndrome, infection, anterior cruciate ligament injury, tendinitis, torn cartilage, torn ligament (ACL tear), strains and sprains. Weight plays a significant role in the onset of knee pain. The knee is a weight-bearing joint, and it is estimated that for every 10 pounds of excess weight we carry, the knee experiences an added 60 lbs of pressure. Other less severe causes of leg pain include inflammation of the tissues or issues with the alignment of your spine. You could be experiencing leg pain due to pre-existing conditions in your bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves or skin. Only a doctor will be able to consult with you and figure out which diagnosis is most accurate for you.

Massage therapy that is performed regularly on the hips, back and legs can help to correct knee misalignment by lengthening associated muscles and improving posture. Massage therapy supports lymph drainage, which carries toxins from the area and reduces the swelling associated with fluid build up. If the knee has been injured, massaging the quadriceps and hamstrings will reduce the amount of pressure placed on the knee, which will aid in the recovery process.

Studies conducted on the efficacy of massage therapy have concluded that it can help to increase range of motion and reduce pain. The data suggest that massage therapy improved circulation around the knee joint and alleviated pain and tenderness. Regular massage therapy (twice weekly, one hour sessions) also increased patients’ muscle tone and range of motion, which are both key factors in pain reduction.

Using massage therapy can reduce the need for prescription pain-killers and corticosteroid injections; which have undesirable side affects, eliminating the need for invasive surgery.

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