Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability, reduced quality of life, and high health care costs in the U.S. If you suffer from arthritis, there is good news – massage has been shown to help reduce pain and increase mobility in those who have arthritis.

Some of the best massages for arthritis pain include:

Swedish Massage

Long strokes, circular movements, and various pressures get blood circulation to the muscles to improve stiffness and reduce pain.


Specific spots are massaged to relieve pain elsewhere in the body; this type of massage will depend on what type of pain you are having and where.

Lymphatic Massage

This detox massage with light pressure is great for people with arthritis, as it helps promote drainage of excess fluid due to the inflammatory process that’s been occurring.

Recently, more research has been conducted examining the effects of regular massage therapy on those who suffer from arthritis.

According to Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, regular massage (either self-massage at home or by a licensed therapist) can lead to a significant reduction in pain for people with arthritis. Regular massage led to improvement in pain, stiffness, range of motion, hand grip strength, and overall function of joints. Based on her study of 22 adults with hand or wrist arthritis who were given 15 minute massages four days a week, regular massage led to reduced pain and anxiety, and increased grip strength.

A study conducted at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey examined 68 adults with knee osteoarthritis receiving two Swedish massages per week for eight weeks (compared to a group who received no massage). The massage group reported significant improvements in knee pain, stiffness, function, range of motion, and walking.

The most important thing to remember when seeking massage for arthritis is that the massage should make your arthritis pain and stiffness feel better, not worse. If it hurts, don’t do it. Always consult your doctor before booking massage for arthritis pain.