Osteoarthritis(OA), also known as degenerative arthritis, is a disease of the entire joint involving the cartilage, joint lining, ligaments, and underlying bone. The breakdown of these tissues eventually leads to pain and joint stiffness. The joints most commonly affected are the knees, hips, and those in the hands and spine. The specific causes of OA are unknown, but are believed to be a result of both mechanical and molecular events in the affected joint. Disease onset is gradual and usually begins after the age of 40.
There is currently no cure for OA. Treatment for OA focuses on relieving symptoms and improving function, and can include a combination of patient education, physical therapy, weight control, use of medications, and eventually total joint replacement.
Risk factors for osteoarthritis are being overweight, getting older and injuring a joint.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils have been a significant component of medical therapy for thousands of years. The role of essential oils in medicine today has been replaced with prescription medications. Lately there has been an increasing demand for natural therapies. One could say that essential oils are coming to the forefront once again. Essential oils are absorbed into the body via the nose and the pores of skin and hair follicles. From there they enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
Let’s take a look at sweet orange essential oiland ginger essential oil. Sweet orange oil has a fresh, sweet, citrus smell and is considered valuable treatment oil for many ailments. The oil is extracted from the fruit of the orange plant (Citrus sinensis) by cold-press method and it is best to only use organic, cold-pressed oils to avoid chemical toxicity. Some benefits would be anxiety, depression, inflammation, sore throat, digestion, cellulite, and acne.
Moving on to see what ginger essential oil is all about. Ginger is the “root” or actually the rhizome, of the plant Zingiber officinale. It has a long history of being used as medicine in Asian, Indian, and Arabic herbal traditions. In China, for example, ginger has been used to help digestion and treat stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea for more than 2,000 years. Ginger has also been used to help treat arthritis, colic, diarrhea, and heart conditions.
What is Massage?
Massage is a “hands on” treatment in which a therapist manipulates muscles and other soft tissues of the body to improve health and well-being. Varieties of massage range from gentle stroking and kneading of muscles and other soft tissues to deeper manual techniques. Massage has been practiced as a healing therapy for centuries in nearly every culture around the world. It helps relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, and evoke feelings of calmness. Although massage affects the body as a whole, it particularly influences the activity of the musculoskeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous systems.
Here we go, let’s see how sweet orange oil and ginger oil along with massage helped to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
A study found that massage and a blend containing ginger essential oil (1% Zingiber officinale) and orange essential oil (0.5% Citrus sinensis) and olive oil (carrier oil) has potential as an alternative method for short-term knee pain relief.
Fifty-nine subjects attending a community center for senior citizens in Hong Kong in 2008 were assigned to one of three groups – an experimental group, receiving a series of six massages with the ginger and orange oil blend over three weeks; a placebo control group, receiving the same massage intervention with olive oil only; and a control group receiving no massage or aromatherapy. Subjects were assessed at baseline, one week after treatment, and four weeks after treatment.
Results were one week after treatment, the experimental group showed improvement in physical function and pain compared to the placebo and control group, but these improvements were not sustained four weeks after treatment. The authors concluded that “The aroma-massage therapy seems to have potential as an alternative method for short-term knee pain relief.”