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Lupus: Massage for Chronic Pain


Lupus. The most common diagnosis mentioned in the award winning TV series House. There are approximately 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with this disease and 90% of them are women. Roughly 70% of the total Lupus populations have what is called systemic lupus erythematosus.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory disease that can be fatal. The body produces antibodies that attack various major organ systems (lungs, heart, kidneys, nervous system, skin, and joints). Chronic joint and muscle pain is another major symptom of lupus and can be helped with massage treatment. Light pressure and fascial techniques along with compression can help alleviate discomfort in the connective tissue. Gentle friction used on ligaments and joints can help strengthen these areas and encourage the healing. 


Modifications can be made to help patients with lupus feel more comfortable and be able to relax during their massage. Often times massage has to be given with the patient in a seated position rather than on a massage table. Massage is contraindicated if the person is experiencing an acute flare-up.


Massage cannot cure lupus but it can help manage the chronic pain associated with this debilitating disease. Here at Northwest Wellness we are well equipped with pillows and blankets to make certain that patients with lupus are comfortable during their massage.