For active seniors, hand massages can be a wonderful way to reduce fatigue. A hand massage can help reduce muscle tension as well as pain. Getting a hand massage done once or twice a week not only helps relieve pain, fatigue, and tension but can help with conditions such as arthritis, neuropathy, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Benefits of a hand massage for seniors include better overall mood, better sleep quality, reduced anxiety, and a better grip.
Reduces Arthritis Pain
Seniors who develop arthritis can develop pain, dry joints, swelling, and a decreased range of motion. Arthritis can also impact other parts of the body, such as the heart and kidneys as well as the lungs and skin. There are various types of arthritis, osteoarthritis being the most common. Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage between the joints weakens, and it can affect the hands, hips, and lower back. Arthritis in the hands can reduce strength in that area, and seniors with arthritis in their hands can experience difficulty with simple tasks. Luckily, a hand massage is one way to both reduce pain and help seniors regain grip strength. A weekly professional hand massage and self-massage at home can help reduce the effects of arthritis.
Helps with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
One of the most common diseases of the wrist, carpal tunnel syndrome causes pain, numbness, and reduced strength in the wrist and fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by pressure on the median nerve in the hand area, triggered by repetitive hand and wrist movements that can exert high pressure on the nerves in the hand. Daily activities can be difficult for seniors with carpal tunnel syndrome. Physiotherapy helps relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and helps restore hand strength. Hand massages are also a great way to treat carpal tunnel syndrome as they help seniors regain their grip strength and thus perform their daily activities with fewer complications.
Helps with Neuropathy
Neuropathy, which occurs when the body’s nerve fibers are damaged, manifests differently in various individuals. Symptoms depend on the type of nerves involved. For those whose motor nerves have been affected, motor functions can become difficult, leading to difficulty walking or lifting items with their hands. Diabetes is one of the main causes of neuropathy. Research conducted on seniors suffering from diabetic neuropathy who received hand massages three or four times a week over four weeks reported a reduction in participants’ pain levels.
Helps with Dementia
Seniors with dementia can also benefit from the physical aspects of a hand massage. A 5-minute gentle hand massage encourages a physical relaxation response in the brain and increases serotonin levels, which helps to regulate moods and increase feelings of calm.
Hand Massages at Home
Although professional hand massages provide great benefits, hand massages at home are an alternative for seniors who do not have access to professional massage settings. No special equipment is needed and even a short massage can help relieve pain and fatigue. However, depending on your exact condition, it is best to consult your physician or massage therapist before embarking on a massage. Note as well that a self-administered massage may cause pain, so seniors are advised to have someone help them administer the massage if they can.