Arthritis is a degenerative disease of the joints, and many senior dogs or dogs that have experienced traumatic injury suffer from arthritis pain. While massage will not “cure” or reverse arthritis it can help alleviate pain associated with the condition. A dog with sore joints may overcompensate with muscles from other parts of the body. These muscles then become strained, as they are moving and bearing additional weight and working in a way they were not intended to. Massage not only relaxes muscles, preventing adhesions and reducing spasms but improves blood flow to tissues including arthritic joints.
Arthritis is a painful degenerative disease of joint tissue, common in older or injured dogs. While massage will not cure arthritis, it can alleviate some of the discomfort associated with it by relieving pain in muscles around the affected joint, or muscles compensating for arthritic joints. Massage also improves circulation to tissues that may be experiencing reduced oxygenation and blood flow from inactivity. Be careful when massaging your arthritic dog as he may act out of character when in pain. Stroke your dog to relax him, then apply light pressure over muscles to relax them. You can also manipulate limbs and joints to improve circulation but be careful to work within your dog's limited range of motion. Be alert to your dog's comfort level and adjust accordingly.