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Osteoarthritis is a major health problem across the globe. Little research has been conducted about the practice of massage therapy and practice to date. However, massage therapy could have a significant impact on human health and overall functioning of the body system. Research on the existing massage therapy practice is warranted to provide answers as to whether the current massage models and frameworks need review. For the purpose of this study, osteoarthritis is the subject matter of discussion. The study encompasses secondary analysis on grounded theory. It seeks to understand the impacts of massage therapy for osteoarthritis.


Massage Therapy for Osteoarthritis
Massage is an effective form of health care for clients with osteoarthritis! Custom Bodies Fitness and Massage therapists are highly trained and provide thorough, effective Massage Therapy for Osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is an age-related condition, which is also known as the wear and tear condition. It occurs when the natural cushioning fluid, synovial fluid, between the joints and cartilage wear off. It acts as a shock absorber. Osteoarthritis result when the liquid wears off. As a result, the bones between joints rub against each other with more intensity, which results in sharp pain, stiffness, and swelling.

Under severe conditions, a patient may experience decreased mobility. In other cases, it may lead to the formation of bone spurs. The largest percentage of patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis are over 45 years. However, this is not to say that young people don’t suffer from this condition. It is important that gene mutation exposes a person to higher chances of developing Osteoarthritis. With this in mind, osteoarthritis is hereditary. Besides, there are other predisposing factors to osteoarthritis other than age and inheritance.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, repetitive stress injuries, athletics, body weight and other illness are key factors that cause the development of this tear and wear condition. A recent research done by the arthritis foundation showed that over 27 million of people in the US are living with osteoarthritis (Atkins & Eichler, 2013). In most cases, osteoarthritis affects the knees. Again, research shows that women especially those who carry heavy weights on their backs are most vulnerable to this condition.


To assess the impacts of massage treatment on osteoarthritis treatment using activity based scale pre and post treatment.


1.    Knee Massage therapy affects knee pain, joint stiffness and physical functions of patients suffering from Osteoarthritis.

2.    Knee Massage therapy affects knee range of movement of a remarkable Osteoarthritis

Literature review

There are a few studies that have focused on the impact of massage therapy treatments on knee Osteoarthritis. The knowledge of massage therapy in the treatment of various muscle and joint health problem is lacking. However, Deyle G et al. (2000) conducted a study, which involved 83 patients. After one year all patients in the treatment group were diagnosed. They all reported significant clinical and statistical improvements in the baseline WOMAC scores. The participants also indicated significant gains in walking distance. Kaufman et al. (2001), conducted another study to assess gait features of patients suffering from knee Osteoarthritis. The findings of the survey showed significant clinical and statistical improvements on gaits after massage therapy treatment.

Another research by Fransen et al., (2003) sought to establish the impacts of exercise for osteoarthritis of the hip or knee concluded that massage practices around the hip joint, or the knee reduced pain joints, joint stiffness, and physical functioning. Patients who received massage therapy during the study reported improvement in the walking compared to what they were able to cover before the treatment. The findings suggested the possibility of a practical solution to knee osteoarthritis upon further research.

Srikanth et al., (2005) carried out a study on sexual differences prevalence, incidence, and severity of Osteoarthritis. They established that women were more vulnerable to tear and wear condition as compared to men. However, the condition was severe to women who were subjected to natural care while those women who underwent massage therapy looked healthy and could walk with little or no pain for a reasonable distance.

In 2008, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons released a guideline about how massage therapy could help in the treatment of Osteoarthritis of the knee. In their study, patients who received regular massage therapy over the period of the survey reported a significant improvement in general health. In the final analysis, subsequent studies have also demonstrated significant clinical and statistical improvements after massage therapy. However, there is a gap that has not been explored. Further research in the area is still crucial to determine the best models that will deliver a lasting solution.

Geriatric Massage Edmonton
While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, there are alternative solutions to surgery that can relieve the symptoms of pain and stiffness. Chronic osteoarthritis responds well to massage, as many of the benefits of massage naturally align with alleviating the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Our Therapists are experienced in providing massage therapy for osteoarthritis and other issues that arise as we age!


This study was conducted between September 2009 and December 2009 at the Lourdes Wellness Center. It employed a randomized sampling technique. The sample consisted of 40 respondents divided into two groups. The first group (intervention group) consisted of 21 members and the second group (control group) composed of 19 members. All the 40 respondents received the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPPA) forms together with written diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the knee by their health care provider before they participated in the study. The first group was subjected to continuous care for eight months. Additionally, during this period, the participants performed a supervised massage therapy twice per week (Porcino & Verhoef, 2010).

After the 8th week the participants were subjected to unsupervised massage therapy twice for three weeks, and by the end of the 11th week, the participants were back to a supervised treatment. At the same time, the control group was subjected to usual care only. Furthermore, they were back on assessments at 4-week intervals. Uniquely, the participants received specific dates for knee massage training. Important to note, both men and women above 50 years were also recruited provided they had no limitations to knee mobility. The Lourdes Wellness Center program rolled out mass mailing and advertisements on local media to recruit the respondents (Crawford et al., 2016). Then the participants were screened by telephone. The screening made considerations into the following factors, the number of days with knee pain, age, morning stiffness and its duration, crepitus on motion and bone enlargement around the affected areas.

Moreover, the participant’s preparedness to attend 75% of the scheduled massage therapies, the promise to stretching program, and a bargain not to receive any other therapy during the study was also put into consideration. Participants who met the requirements were subjected to further screening to eliminate participants with rheumatoid arthritis or any other serious medical conditions within the last three months. During orientation, some agreed to participate in massage therapy while others decided to remain in the waist group. At this time all consent forms and assessment surveys were collected from the participants. The survey results were verified to ensure they did not affect the statistical validity of the test (Field, Diego, & Hernandez-Reif, 2007) and randomization was assigned using uniform distribution.


Primarily this study assessed the variations in pain, joint rigidity, and active knee joint. Dualistic instruments were involved. They included the Self-Report Western Ontario and McMaster’s Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) questionnaire and changes in knee range of motion using a universal goniometer). The former assess the subscales such as knee pain, joint stiffness, and physical functioning. It comprised of five questions (1-5). Question 6-7 addressed joint stiffness and question 8-24 covered the physical functioning (Perlman et al., 2012). Comparatively, each question is then scaled on a Likert scale where 0-none, 1-mild, 2-moderate, 3-severe, and 4-extreme. These scores are interpreted as follows; high scores let’s say 3-4 indicates greater knee pain, joint stiffness, and functional limitations.


The post-treatment result concerning the dissimilarities between the two clusters was statistically significant. Markedly, fewer scores signpost an enhancement of symptoms. Similarly, massage therapy on knee range of movement was assessed using a universal goniometer. And because both instruments have been tested for validity and reliability hypothesis were confirmed (Van Baar, 2001). First, knee massage therapy affects knee pain, joint rigidity and physical jobs of the participants (as shown in the WOMAC questionnaire). Second, knee massage therapy influences the movement of the knee movement, as demonstrated by the goniometer.

The groups were then tested to establish the variances between the intervention and control groups SPSS. The software was used to code, tabulate, and test the hypotheses of both the WOMAC questionnaire and the Universal Goniometer. A Wilcoxon rank test was then conducted to establish the differences between continuous and ordinal variables. Correspondingly, a Fisher’s exact test was then run to compare the discrete variables. 28 analyses were then conducted with 24 representing the WOMAC measures while the four accounts for the knee range of movement measures.


The first research study indicates that there is a significant relation between massage therapies on the knee muscles. Correspondingly, there is a noteworthy enhancement in the state of the two groups. The study contributes to the existing massage therapy research. This study is patient-centered, and it provides answers to patients looking for hands-on answers to chronic symptoms associated with knee osteoarthritis. Further, the research findings provide greater insights that may have vital contributions to future concerning the treatment for knee pain, joint stiffness, and physical role in knee range of motion. Nevertheless, further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of knee massage in the general population.

At Custom Bodies Fitness and Massage we understand that there are many benefits to providing massage to the client with osteoarthritis.  The benefits are likely to be better posture, better joint mobility, pain management, a decrease in swelling and a general feeling of wellbeing due to feeling better.

Custom Bodies Fitness and Massage therapists are highly trained and provide thorough, effective Massage Therapy for Osteoarthritis. Book with us today!


American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Clinical guideline on osteoarthritis of the knee 2008

Atkins, D. V., & Eichler, D. A. (2013). The effects of self-massage on osteoarthritis of the knee: A Randomized, controlled trial.

Crawford, C., Boyd, C., Paat, C. F., Price, A., Xenakis, L., Yang, E., & Zhang, W. (2016). The impact of massage therapy on function in pain Populations—A systematic review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized controlled trials: Part I, patients experiencing pain in the general population. , 17(7),

Deyle G et al. Physical Therapy Treatment Effectiveness for Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Comparison of Supervised Clinical Exercise and Manual Therapy Procedures Versus a Home Exercise Program. Physical Therapy . Volume 85 . Number 12 . December 2005

Field, T., Diego, M., & Hernandez-Reif, M. (2007). Massage therapy research. Developmental Review, 27(1), 75–89. doi:10.1016/j.dr.2005.12.002

Fransen M, McConnell S, Bell M . Exercise for osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003; : CD004286.

Kaufman KR, Hughes C, Morrey BF, Morrey M, An KN . Gait characteristics of patients with knee osteoarthritis. J Biomech. 2001; 34: 907-915.

Perlman, A. I., Ali, A., Njike, V. Y., Hom, D., Davidi, A., Gould-Fogerite, S., … Katz, D. L. (2012). Massage therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee: A Randomized dose-finding trial. PLoS ONE, 7(2), e30248. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030248

Porcino, A. J., & Verhoef, M. J. (2010). The use of mixed methods for therapeutic massage research. , 3(1),

Srikanth VK, Fryer JL, Zhai G, Winzenberg TM, Hosmer D, Jones G . A meta-analysis of sex differences prevalence, incidence and severity of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2005; 13: 769-781.

Van Baar, M. E. (2001). Effectiveness of exercise in patients with osteoarthritis of hip or knee: Nine months’ follow up. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 60(12), 1123–1130. doi:10.1136/ard.60.12.1123



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