Is  massage good for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)?

Many of our patients have relatives who deal with Rheumatoid Arthritis, that´s why they asked about treatments to relieve symptoms of this condition. Specially, they asked us, if massage is good for RA. The answer is that our tailored Massage and Manual Lymphatic Drainage treatments are good for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), but before telling you why, let´s start with the basis…

What is RA?

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes painful swelling. 
  • It is an autoimmune disorder, in other words,  your immune system  attacks your own hard and soft tissues (mainly bones and cartilage). In most cases, it affects  joints.
  • RA swelling might cause erosion of your bones, leading in fusion of your joints and, as a result, deformities.
  • It might affect the function of inner organs (severe cases).

However, the condition can also  damage a wide variety of body systems like:

  • skin, 
  • eyes, 
  • fingers,
  • hands,
  • knees,
  • ankles,
  • feet,
  • toes,
  • lungs, 
  • heart 
  • and blood vessels.

Symptoms of RA

Some of the most common symptoms you may have are:

  • stiffness in your joints, most seen in the morning or after inactivity periods of time
  • fatigue
  • pain
  • edema
  • fluid retention
  • no appetite
  • fever
  • tenderness
  • swelling
  • warm joints


There are no clear evidence of what might produce this conditions, but some risks factors are:

  • family history
  • genetics
  • unknown

What is the best massage for rheumatoid arthritis?

A research published in Complementary Therapy in Clinical Practice shows that patients treated with moderate pressure massage have better outcomes than patients who had light-touch massage. In short, the best massage for RA is moderate pressure massage once a week and must be performed by a certified professional, best if is one of those who treat you better!

Which massage technique is indicated for acute rheumatoid arthritis?

Experts recommend for acute rheumatoid arthritis moderate pressure massage once a week – performed by a certified therapist- and supplemented with daily self-massage.

What kind of massage is good for arthritis?

We already talked about how good massage is for your arthritis; however there is another treatment you can use to get relief from symptoms. It is Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage. This treatment helps to:

  • drain retained fluids in your joints
  • boosts and improves blood flow
  • reduce swelling
  • improves your general wellbeing
  • improves mobility

We hope this information is useful for you. If you need advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us in Mill Hill Broadway and Islington. 

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