A new study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy has found that knee osteoarthritis pain is relieved using both Thai (TPT) and Swedish (SPT) massage and exercises.
Both groups improved in terms of pain and function at all stages and they were followed up for regular intervals for 12 months.
The TPT group improved slightly more that the SPT group but they also had different types of exercises with the Swedish group doing ‘strengthening exercises’ and the TPT group doing ‘Thai exercises’
I have always thought Thai exercises have a strong stretching and flexibility component to them. This makes the exercise programs very different. I would have thought if they wanted to compare which type of massage helped more then the same exercises should have been done.
Why This Program Worked for Knee Osteoarthritis Pain
The program combined two types of therapy that have long been shown to relieve knee osteoarthritis pain.
Massage for Knee Osteoarthritis
Massage for knee osteoarthritis pain is aimed at improving the healing of the soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) that get irritated, inflamed and sore trying to work with the affected joint. (You can learn more about that here).
Massage works by increasing the blood flow the soft tissue. Oxygen and nutrients are needed by the body to repair itself and so the more that are taken to an injured area the quicker they heal. The increased blood flow also takes away the waste products which, if they build up, will slow the healing rate.
Exercises for Knee Osteoarthritis
Exercises are still the most effective treatment for knee osteoarthritis pain. They too work by improving the function of the soft tissue around the affected joint.
Different types of exercises improve you in different ways. Some help flexibility, while others provide better support for your worn joint while others increase muscle stamina allowing you to do more before you get pain.
All of them are equally important and must be part of any program of exercises for osteoarthritis but in this study only strengthening were used in the SPT group As the Thai exercises have a stretching part to them I would suggest that is why they improved more rather than the type of massage.
Can You Do This Yourself?
Of course you can! Like most things in life it is easy when you know how!
It is what I have been teaching for over 6 years now with amazing success. Your biggest problem will be the same as the subjects in this study who all complained the exercises were not “fun”!
No I don’t think my program is ‘fun’ either but it will allow you to have more ‘fun’ !
In the long term you will need to spend about 20 minutes 3 times a week keeping your knee osteoarthritis pain under control. You will be able to do more with less pain.
I am sorry to say it but subjects of this study need to get over themselves. These types of programs are just a bit boring. So what? Then you can go out and play golf or work in the garden or do whatever you think is ‘fun’.
I don’t look forward to doing my own program but I love going out and riding my horse. I would not be able to do that if I didn’t keep my osteoarthritis controlled. The benefits so outweigh any inconvenience it is laughable!
So do you can put up with a total of an hour per week of boredom to improve you quality of life? Click on this link to read how easy it is to improve your knee osteoarthritis pain.