Massage and Medicine: Common Conditions that Require Both Treatment Plans



Medication is always necessary when treating physical issues and conditions, but that’s not the only treatment plan that can work to deliver better quality treatment. Today, one can also employ massage therapy to further their treatment program – a procedure especially helpful when taking medications.

Moreover, massage therapists must consider your body’s condition and the pills’ side effects when taking medication. Some medications will make your body prone to bruising, so massage therapy should work around these issues. The massage treatment is altered to best fit the medication. Nonetheless, both of these plans can best accommodate these common conditions:


Arthritis is commonly known as a condition of the joints. This condition includes stiffness, swelling, redness, joint pain, and a decreased range of motion – symptoms that make the person immobile.

For those with arthritis, pain relievers such as analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed. There are even those that are given corticosteroids to reduce pain and inflammation.

You may also be prescribed a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug if you find yourself with inflammatory arthritis. With plenty of prescribed medications, you may need a 90% off discount card to help you financially, or you could try altering your treatment plan and add massage therapy.

In 2018, the Journal of General Internal Medicine released a study revealing the benefits of massage for those with knee osteoarthritis. In the study, those who received an hour-long whole-body massage experienced mobility improvement after eight weeks compared to those who only received standard medication treatment plans.

The same goes for those with hand arthritis. A study at the University of Miami found that a 15-minute pressure massage for four weeks improved grip strength. Additionally, the participants were taught to massage their joints daily.


Fibromyalgia is a condition that involves the musculoskeletal system of the body. This condition includes widespread pain in the body, which causes pain when touched, stiffness in the joints, and fatigue in the morning. Also, fibromyalgia causes joint tingling and numbness in severe cases.

For those with fibromyalgia, antidepressant medication is the most common first line of treatment. This medication can help relieve the pain and fatigue of the condition and improve any sleeping issues. However, this medication can also pose a risk for bruising, so massage therapy must refrain from overstretching or over-massaging.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that massage is terrible for fibromyalgia. For this condition, massage therapy helps the body relax, decreases stress hormones, and prepares the body to repair itself through a good night’s sleep. Moreover, massage therapy for those with fibromyalgia includes stretching and kneading to increase mobility. Likewise, massage chairs can also be used for those looking for long-term solutions.


Diabetes is a condition wherein your blood sugar is too  high. If uncontrolled, diabetes can cause excessive urination and thirst, slow-to-heal wounds, and could even affect your kidneys and heart. Moreover, insulin shots and metformin are the most common types of medication Рwherein the side effects include easy bruising, swelling, and back pain.

Massage therapy for diabetes is best when it’s gradual. This means that it’s best to start with short massage sessions to see whether the therapy positively affects one’s condition or the side effects of the medication. Moreover, massages should only be done when the client with diabetes has eaten before the session.

In a 2019 study that reviewed articles from 2000 to 2018, the researchers found numerous benefits of massage to the symptoms of diabetes. In the study, the massage helped improve circulation within the lower limbs of those with type-2 diabetes, slowing the progression of arterial disease.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system condition that affects movement and develops gradually over time. This condition starts with small hand tremors, followed by rigid muscles, poor posture, balance issues, and slowed movement. To counter these issues, drugs like parasympatholytics and dopaminergic are prescribed.

Additionally, massage therapy includes treatment plans that help the muscles relax. Here, the best options are rocking strokes and effleurage (a massage technique involving light strokes with the palm to warm up the muscles).

In a case study conducted with a 63-year-old female patient, massage therapy caused a positive change to the hand tremor symptoms of the client – wherein there were lesser trembles over time.

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is an umbrella term encompassing heart and blood vessel conditions. Although the symptoms may vary depending on the type of cardiovascular disease, chest discomfort, heart palpitations, fatigue, and dizziness are common.

Here, medications include beta blockers, calcium-channel blockers, and anticoagulants, whereas massage therapy focuses on moving fluids across your body, alleviating the pressure, and positively affecting your circulatory system. Furthermore, long sessions should be avoided as drowsiness is a side effect of the medication.

Final Thoughts

Massage and medication are both helpful when it comes to managing common conditions. With a balance of these two, one can target the condition’s physical symptoms and the drug’s after-effects. Furthermore, consult your doctor before trying on a new treatment plan. When it comes to your health, it’s always best to seek the advice of a trained professional.