4 Types of Massages For Easing Arthritis

Arthritis can be difficult to live with, especially when it’s accompanied by the pain that comes with it. In some cases, one thing that may help alleviate the pain associated with arthritis symptoms is massage therapy. If you’re looking for ways to ease your arthritis symptoms naturally, consider these types of massages for easing arthritis with a massage.

What is arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout are common forms of arthritis. The three types have different causes and symptoms. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear to joints over time, while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks synovial tissue—the fluid inside a joint—and gout is triggered by a buildup of uric acid in joints, leading to acute inflammation. It’s important to understand your type so you can make informed decisions about your treatment options. The treatments for each are different; for example, massage therapy won’t help with rheumatoid arthritis but it will relieve pain from osteoarthritis or gout.

Relaxation or therapeutic massage

This type of massage is intended to help reduce stress and muscle tension, as well as provide comfort to aching muscles. If you’re experiencing arthritis pain, consider scheduling an appointment with a licensed massage therapist to ease your symptoms. A number of studies have shown that regular therapeutic massages can reduce stiffness and improve the range of motion in patients suffering from osteoarthritis [1].

Lymphatic massage for arthritis

Many people are familiar with receiving a massage for relaxation and pain relief. But do you know about lymphatic massage for arthritis? It’s not just for those with swelling and fluid retention, but also could help with joint mobility. This type of massage addresses how your body moves fluid around as it flows from one area to another. A licensed professional can teach you how to do a lymphatic massage on yourself, which may be beneficial in easing symptoms related to arthritis or another condition. 

Shiatsu massage

Another massage style, shiatsu involves applying pressure with your fingers and thumbs to specific points on your body. Some massage therapists believe these points (also called meridians) are related to specific internal organs and can help release trapped energy, easing symptoms of arthritis. However, if you’re interested in trying a shiatsu massage, it’s important to remember that not all practitioners are trained in how to administer shiatsu. So you’ll want to make sure they have experience before letting them give you a session—ideally from a certified instructor or through an accredited school.

Reflexology for arthritis

One of the lesser-known massage styles, reflexology is meant to improve arthritis by applying pressure to specific points on your hands or feet that relate to different body parts. What makes it such a useful therapy for easing arthritis is its high success rate, as well as its accessibility—just ask if your massage therapist can add it to your next session. 


A massage can improve arthritis symptoms in multiple ways. You can reduce joint pain and inflammation, ease muscle tension, improve blood flow to joints and stimulate metabolism. Whether you go for Shiatsu massage, deep tissue massage or sports massage, there are plenty of benefits for all.