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Arthritis and Reflexology

Massage, and other passive (practitioner-driven) manual therapies, have been anecdotally reported to improve health-related quality of life in people with arthritis. Many manual therapists consult with patients who have arthritic diseases, receive referrals from rheumatologists, and consider the arthritic diseases to be within their field of practise. Although there is empirical evidence that manual therapy with some types of arthritis is beneficial, the level of effectiveness however is under-researched. Medical authorities are reluctant to endorse manual therapies for arthritis due to a lack of scientific evidence demonstrating efficacy, safety, and cost effectiveness.

-- Australas Chiropr Osteopathy. 2002 Jul;10(1):9-15. Is manual therapy a rational approach to improving health-related quality of life in people with arthritis? Cameron M.

Conventional nonpharmacologic treatments such as weight loss and exercise are well accepted by the medical community, and some randomized controlled trials support the use of these treatments in patients with knee osteoarthritis. However, little information exists regarding the efficacy of these treatments for osteoarthritis at other sites. Less conventional treatments such as acupuncture and massage are emerging as promising options for osteoarthritis treatment, but the magnitude of benefit has varied between studies.

-- Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2008 Jan;10(1):5-10. The benefit of nonpharmacologic therapy to treat symptomatic osteoarthritis.Lee YC, Shmerling RH.

Nine cases were markedly effective, 13 cases were effective, and one was ineffective. Joint pain and tenderness obviously improved, as well as joint swelling. No obvious change in joint deformity. Functional disturbance was remarkably improved. It is clear that reflexology combined with natural therapies can bring about satisfactory therapeutic effects on Rheumatoid arthritis.

-- Lingyun, Z., Yuru, Y., Yuehong, W., "Analysis on Therapeutic Effects of Reflexology on Rheumatoid Arthritis." 2004 China Symposium Reflexology Report, pages 25-28

Reflexology Information

last update: April 2009

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