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Can Hand Massage Relieve Arthritis Pain?

Conditions like arthritis that affect the hands can make basic, everyday tasks like opening jar lids or picking up and holding objects much more challenging. But there’s good news: massage therapy offers relief for those who suffer from hand pain!

In this article, we will look at the different ways that hand massage can relieve pain and restore a higher quality of life for those of us who suffer from conditions that impact our hands.

Relieving Arthritis Pain

Pain relief and restoration of hand strength are among the possible health benefits of a hand massage. In one study involving participants diagnosed with wrist/hand arthritis, hand massage treatments were shown to lower anxiety, lower depression, relieve pain and increase strength in the hands. (Field et al., 2007)

Those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis may be happy to hear that massage therapy has been shown to be an effective pain reliever. In one study that involved 42 adult participants with rheumatoid arthritis, participants were treated by applying pressure at a moderate level once a week for 4 weeks. These participants reported less pain, greater grip strength, and a greater range of motion. (Field et al., 2013)

Other Benefits of Hand Massage

In addition to relieving arthritis pain, there are a number of other benefits of hand massage. These include:

  • Increasing blood flow in areas of your hands that are aching or stiff
  • Decreasing swelling that results from fluid accumulation in the hands
  • Improving flexibility and range of motion in hands and wrists
  • Fewer headaches: the hand contains trigger points that, when massaged, can help relieve migraines
  • Relieving stress and anxiety: massage therapy, including hand massage, is simply a wonderful and effective way to peel away stress and anxiety


At Radiant Wellness, our massage therapists will be happy to meet with you to determine if hand massage will be effective for improving your quality of life. Hand massage treatments will involve repetitive motions and other elements you may be familiar with if you have experienced other massage modalities. Our therapists can also target specified areas of the hand that need attention. For example, starting at the base of each individual finger and working up to the fingertip using different massage motions.

Call us at 479-279-0106 or send us a message here for an appointment. We serve clients in Van Buren, Fort Smith, and throughout the River Valley. We specialize in Pilates, massage therapy, facials, skincare, yoga, and wellness coaching.

Journal References

Field, T., Diego, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., & Shea, J. (2007). Hand arthritis pain is reduced by massage therapy. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 11(1), 21–24. 

Field, T., Diego, M., Delgado, J., Garcia, D., & Funk, C. G. (2013). Rheumatoid arthritis in upper limbs benefits from moderate pressure massage therapy. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 19(2), 101–103. 

Written By Lance Montgomery

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