Around 10 million Americans suffer from gout, a condition characterized by severe swelling and pain. The inflammation is caused by an excess amount of uric acid and is indicative of a metabolic abnormality; normally gout accompanies other conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. There are many treatment plans for gout, but an increasingly popular alternative is massage therapy.

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New studies have suggested that constant and regular massages – specifically those targeted for gout – reduce the severity of pain and inflammation that a patient suffers. It must be heavily emphasized that massages do not cure the condition, but help control the symptoms. A large part of the treatment of gout is a dramatic shift of lifestyle. Typically, patients are asked to change their diet and engage in more physical activities. Many patients complain that it is a vicious cycle: they need to move in order to relieve gout, but their gout prevents them from moving because of the pain.

Image source: goutandyou.com

Massage therapy cuts the cycle by allowing the patient to begin exercising without the constant pain. Again, massage therapies are not a cure-all but are the first steps toward healing. Additionally, regular massages reduce the typical pain one may have after a normal workout session. There is also an emotional benefit to massages. Studies have concluded that massage therapies relax individuals, reducing the amount of stress felt and generally improving one’s immune system.

Individuals, who are still wary of seeking this alternative, should speak with their physician.

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