Whether massage clients have had knee surgery or not, receiving massage could help reduce the effects of osteoarthritis.

Knee osteoarthritis is a common public health problem affecting more than nine million Americans, according to a press release from the Radiological Society of North America, and it typically develops gradually over several years. Knee osteoarthritis symptoms can include pain, stiffness, swelling and reduction in knee mobility.

Massage therapy has been shown, in research reported by MASSAGE Magazine in 2007, to reduce pain and stiffness in people with knee osteoarthritis, while also improving range of motion and functionality.

New research shows arthroscopic surgical repair of torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) or meniscal cartilage injuries in the knee does not decrease the chances of developing osteoarthritis, according to the press release.

“This study proves that meniscal and cruciate ligament lesions increase the risk of developing specific types of knee osteoarthritis,” said Kasper Huétink, M.D., the study’s lead author and resident radiologist at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. “Surgical therapy does not decrease that risk.”

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the ACL, which is one of four ligaments that connect the bones in the knee, is the most commonly injured ligament. Injury typically occurs when the ACL is overstretched or torn.

Approximately half of ACL injuries will cause damage to other areas of the knee, including the meniscus, a wedge-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber for the knee joints. Surgical treatment is usually advised to repair these injuries, the press release noted.

The research was published in the journal Radiology.

Related articles
• Massage Helps Knee Osteoarthritis

Massage Reduces Hand Arthritis Pain and Increases Grip Strength

• Balneotherapy Eases Osteoarthritis

Hydrotherapy Beneficial to Individuals with Osteoarthritis