Massage & Bodywork

January/February 2012

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Page 40 of 132

EDUCATION PATHOLOGY PERSPECTIVES Over the years, Pathology Perspectives has addressed many complicated conditions ranging from methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections to polycystic ovary disease. For this issue, however, we are going back to basics and reviewing a condition that almost all of us will experience, if we live long enough: arthritis. It is important to begin this Arthritis in Its Many Forms When to Use Massage and When to Avoid By Ruth Werner review of a familiar condition with the reminder that arthritis is not one problem. Rather, it is a collection of dozens of different issues, all of which lead to inflammation in the joints. Synovial joints are the type most frequently affected, but as we will see, cartilaginous joints between the vertebrae are also vulnerable to the effects of chronic inflammation. The plural for arthritis is arthridites. It is possible for a single person to experience multiple forms of arthritis simultaneously; thus, a person can have comorbidities of arthridites. Some forms and stages of arthritis may respond well to massage therapy, while others need to be avoided when they are acute. BASIC PRINCIPLES OF ARTHRITIS In order to follow a discussion of what happens when a joint doesn't function well, it helps to remember what happens when the joint is working perfectly. Most freely movable joints are composed of two or three bones, articular cartilage that caps their contacting surfaces, a joint capsule that wraps around 38 massage & bodywork january/february 2012

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