Late last year, a study was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine with the title Efficacy and Safety of Massage for Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Clinical Trial. This was a landmark study exemplifying the ability of massage therapy to both reduce pain and increase function of people suffering from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It is a progressive disease of the joint leading to the breakdown of the joint cartilage and bone. One of the more common treatments to manage this condition is the use of pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Unfortunately, prolonged and continued use of NSAIDs, especially in older populations, can lead to gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney dysfunction and failure. These risks prompted the medical community to look at alternative treatments to help manage OA and resulted in many studies involving massage therapy and it’s effects on OA.
Based on the results of previous studies and now this latest landmark study, the results are quite conclusive in supporting massage therapy as a one of the first line treatments to help patients manage osteoarthritis. Massage therapy along with physical activity and a good diet form a solid combination of first line treatments.
Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a program specifically designed to help our osteoarthritis patients. Our osteoarthritis treatment program is modeled after the study in the aforementioned journal study. This will then allow people living with OA in Ottawa to have a chance to see the benefits and improvement for themselves.