Study Shows Massage Benefits for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis in upper limbs benefits from moderate pressure massage therapy.

Published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health



Forty-two adults with rheumatoid arthritis in the upper limbs were randomly assigned to a moderate pressure or a light pressure massage therapy group. A therapist massaged the affected arm and shoulder once a week for a 4-week period and also taught the participant self-massage to be done once daily.


The moderate pressure vs. the light pressure massage therapy group had less pain and perceived greater grip strength following the first and last massage sessions. By the end of the one month period the moderate pressure massage group had less pain, greater grip strength and greater range of motion in their wrist and large upper joints (elbows and shoulders).