Navigation Links
Massage Beats Meds for Lower Back Pain, Study Says
Date:7/5/2011

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) -- Massage therapy may be better than medication or exercise for easing low back pain in the short term, a new government-funded study suggests.

Seattle researchers recruited 401 patients, mostly middle-aged, female and white, all of whom had chronic low back pain.

Those who received a series of either relaxation massage or structural massage were better able to work and be active for up to a year than those getting "usual medical care," which included painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants or physical therapy, the researchers found.

Lead study author Daniel Cherkin, director of Group Health Research Institute, said he had expected structural massage, which manipulates specific pain-related back muscles and ligaments, would prove superior to relaxation or so-called Swedish massage, which aims to promote a feeling of body-wide relaxation.

Structural massage, which focuses on soft-tissue abnormalities, requires more training and may be more likely to be paid for by health insurance plans, which may equate it with physical therapy, said Cherkin.

"I thought structural massage would have been at least a little better, and that's not the case," Cherkin said. "If you're having continuing problems with back pain even after trying usual medical care, massage may be a good thing to do. I think the results are pretty strong."

The study, funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, is published in the July 5 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Participants were randomly assigned to one of the three groups: structural massage, relaxation massage or usual care. Those in the massage groups were given hour-long massage treatments weekly for 10 weeks.

At 10 weeks, more than one-third of those who received either type of massage said their back pain was much better or gone, compared to only one in 25 patients who received usual care, the study said. Those in the massage groups were also twice as likely in that period to have spent fewer days in bed, used less anti-inflammatory medication and engaged in more activity than the standard care group.

Six months out, both types of massage were still linked to improved function, Cherkin said, but after one year, pain and function was almost equal in all three groups.

Noting that most Americans will experience low back pain during their lifetime, Cherkin said another benefit of massage is its relative safety.

"Maybe one of 10 patients felt pain during or after massage, but most of those thought it was a 'good pain,'" he said. "A good massage therapist will be in tune with the patient and will ask what hurts."

One of the study's weaknesses was that those who were assigned to usual care knew that others were receiving massage therapy and may have been disappointed to be excluded, tainting their reported improvement, said Dr. Robert Duarte, director of the Pain and Headache Treatment Center at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, N.Y.

"I think massage therapy can be useful for patients with back pain, but more as a . . . supplemental therapy," Duarte added.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more on low back pain.

SOURCES: Daniel Cherkin, Ph.D., director, Group Health Research Institute, Seattle; Robert Duarte, M.D., director, Pain and Headache Treatment Center, North Shore-LIJ Health System, Manhasset, N.Y.; July 5, 2011, Annals of Internal Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Massage eases low back pain in randomized controlled trial
2. Adults demonstrate modified immune response after receiving massage, Cedars-Sinai researchers show
3. Ayurvedic Cooking, Massages and Yoga -- Relaxing for Children Charity -- Retreats at an Ashram in India
4. Massage Therapy School Trains for In-Demand Careers in Massage Therapy
5. Atlanta School of Massage Celebrates 30th Anniversary with a New Green Design and New Name for its Teaching Clinic: SensAbility
6. BestMassage.com Launches Its Brand New Customer-Focused Website
7. Massage Envy Provides Effective Way to Manage Arthritis Pain
8. Massage Envy Announces Franchisee of the Year
9. Massage Envy Offers Relief for Fibromyalgia Sufferers
10. Forget the Flowers for Mother's Day This Year -- Get Her a Massage Instead
11. Massage Envy Reduces Stress With Spring Massage
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Massage Beats Meds for Lower Back Pain, Study Says
(Date:2/5/2016)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Steven ... event he has completed every year since it started in 2003. This year, he ... the attention of fellow runners and NBA team the Miami Heat. , This Sunday, ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... company's lighter, sleeker next generation LYNX VR Indoor Trainer with multi-rider capability to ... design and manufacturing not only reduce the weight of the unit, they also ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Successful recruitment and retention efforts, new collaborations ... have all marked the last 12 months at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). ... oldest cancer center, Candace S. Johnson, PhD, outlined the many accomplishments of her ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... The Muscular ... Louisiana Kitchen restaurants, launched the 14th annual “Appetite for a Cure” campaign on ... muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases that severely limit strength and mobility. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... York, New York (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... life? The answer may be at the tips of your toes. Foot massage, whether ... as well as pure comfort and relaxation. The American Board of Multiple Specialties ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... 2016 Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) will present ... Conference at 9:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, ... W. Meline , executive vice president and chief financial officer ... the presentation can be accessed from the Events Calendar on ... the webcast will also be available on Amgen,s website for ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... Feb. 5, 2016  ivWatch, a medical devices company, is ... Award granted by Governor Terry McAuliffe,s office. ivWatch ... February 25th at an event to be held at the ... award honors professionals and business that have made significant contributions ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160205/330117LOGO ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... MILTON, Ontario , Feb. 5, 2016  Aralez ... business combination of POZEN Inc. ("POZEN") and Tribute Pharmaceuticals Canada ... of POZEN and shareholders of Tribute. The combined company ... specialty pharmaceutical company with operations in Canada ... the United States . Under the terms ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: