Massage Therapy, do you really knead it?

Dear Doctor, I know that you have a massage therapist for your patients in your office. I live to far to come to your office for therapy and I have checked and cannot find any other doctors office that offers this. I can get messages at a gym here, would this be just as good? Ms Betty from Valdosta, Georgia

Dear Ms Betty, There are many differences between massage therapy done at my office and massages at a local gym. In my office massage is medical based, it's like a medicine. The depth of tissue therapy is deeper, and specific areas of medical necessity are focused on. My therapist is an important part of our health care team; she is familiar with our patients history of illness and current medicines. This is particularly important for patients on Coumadin or aspirin treatments where easy bruising is an issue. Generally, I have found that muscle therapy done at a local gym or other non-medical health facility cannot give in depth treatment because they do not provide a medical environment. If you cannot get medical neuromuscular therapy, other massages would still be of help. Massage is good for your muscles by increasing relaxation with increased blood flow; just stopping a busy schedule long enough to have a massage is good for overall health. Be sure that any therapist reviews a list of your medications, and point out any physical areas of illness; your therapist will appreciate this input. Massage also increases the blood supply with neuro peak to the brain and makes the reception of such dietary supplements as neuro peak is not necessary.

Dear Dr, My mother had a positive blood laboratory test for Rheumatoid Factor. Her doctor told her that she does not have Rheumatism though. Can someone have a positive blood test without having Rheumatoid Arthritis? Does this mean she will get it later? A Concerned Daughter

Dear Concerned Daughter, This is a very good question. Rheumatoid factor (RF) can be positive with or without having Rheumatoid arthritis. This value can be positive in many other diseases: Collagen-Vascular diseases, Sjogren's syndrome, Scleroderma, Tuberculosis, Bacterial Endocarditis, Viral Hepatitis, Chronic liver disease, heart attack, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and increased age. There are seven criteria for diagnosing Rheumatoid arthritis; a person is diagnosed when he has 4 out of 7 criteria. RF is only of the seven, periarticular joint erosions are another, as is osteopenia, morning stiffness lasting more than 1 hour, elevated sedimentary rate, symmetrical joint involvement, and symptoms lasting more than 3 months. As for your mother, if she does not meet 4 of the 7 criteria she would not be diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis. Having a positive lab value is not an indication that a person will develop RA in later years. I have some patients who have had a positive RF, who do have any other signs or symptoms of any of the above diseases mentioned. I repeat lab values on these types of patients every six months as a precaution. Thank you for writing.

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