Massage and Low Back Pain

A study published in The Annals of Internal Medicine has found that massage therapy may reduce or relive chronic back pain for a period of six months or more.

The randomised controlled, paralell-group trial was conducted by Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD, of the Group Health Research Institute, in Seattle, Washington, and colleagues, at a local health care unit. The study focused on 401 people, each assigned either relaxation massage, structural massage, or usual medical treatment.

Cherkin's team of researchers discovered, "Massage therapy improved function and decreased pain more than usual care in patients with uncomplicated chronic lower back pain [LBP] after 10 weeks."

"We found that patients receiving massage were twice as likely as those receiving usual care to report significant improvements in both their pain and function," Dr. Cherkin said in a press release. "After 10 weeks, about two-thirds of those receiving massage improved substantially, versus only about one-third in the usual care group."

Interestingly enough, the study found that, "No clinically meaningful difference between relaxation and structural massage was observed in terms of relieving disability or symptoms."

The test subjects were mostly women with nonspecific chronic low back pain who were enrolled in a single healthcare system that provides treatment to a mostly white and employed population, suggesting more studies need to be done on the wider community in order to generalise the findings across socio-economic, gendered and ethnic borders. Results, however, are encouraging, helping to confirm what we see every day: massage therapy eases pain, promotes a relaxed, alert state of mind and a healthy body. Book a treatment with Wee Sally today to balance mind and body.