Keeping Pain at Bay


As this fall season winds down, football is in full swing, the weather is turning cooler, and the leaves have changed beautiful colors. Once those leaves fall, however, someone needs to rake them. And that outside furniture and recreational equipment needs to be stored before winter. These activities can be stressful on your back and cause a flare up for those with chronic back pain. Massage therapy can help—with the back pain, that is.

In a study published in the February 2014 edition of Scientific World Journal, researchers investigated whether chronic low-back pain therapy with massage therapy alone was as effective as combining it with non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. The study was conducted on 59 individuals divided into two groups, all of whom suffered from low-back pain and were diagnosed with degenerative changes of the spine, other intervertebral disc diseases or spine pain.

In both patient groups, the pain measured was significantly reduced and the level of disability showed significant improvement compared to the baseline. Researchers concluded massage had a positive effect on patients with chronic low-back pain and propose that the use of massage causes fast therapeutic results and that, in practice, it could help to reduce the use of anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of chronic low-back pain.

Also, research released in July 2011 expands on the effectiveness of massage therapy for chronic low back pain. Researchers found that “patients receiving massage were twice as likely as those receiving usual care to report significant improvements in both their pain and function”. The study was conducted over 10 weeks through Group Health Research Institute.

  • Participants had a 60-minute massage once a week for 10 weeks.
  • Massage patients also said they reduced the amount of over the counter anti-inflammatory medications they took.
  • The study compared both relaxation massage and “structural massage” therapy and found no difference in the results from the type of massage given.

Check out more in the AMTA Research Roundup and take matters into your own hands by scheduling a massage with a qualified massage therapist today. 

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