Navigation Links
Massage eases low back pain in randomized controlled trial
Date:7/4/2011

SEATTLEMassage therapy helps ease chronic low back pain and improve function, according to a randomized controlled trial that the Annals of Internal Medicine will publish in its July 5 issue. The first study to compare structural and relaxation (Swedish) massage, the trial found that both types of massage worked well, with few side effects.

"We found that massage helps people with back pain to function even after six months," said trial leader Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute. Better function means they are more able to work, take care of themselves, and be active.

"This is important because chronic back pain is among the most common reasons people see doctors and alternative practitioners, including massage therapists," Dr. Cherkin added. "It's also a common cause of disability, absenteeism, and 'presenteeism,' when people are at work but can't perform well."

The trial enrolled 400 Group Health Cooperative patients who had had low back pain for at least three months. Their pain was "nonspecific," meaning with no identified cause. They were randomly assigned to one of three treatments: structural massage, relaxation massage, or usual care. Usual care was what they would have received anyway, most often medications. The hour-long massage treatments were given weekly for 10 weeks.

At 10 weeks, more than one in three patients who received either type of massagebut only one in 25 patients who got usual caresaid their back pain was much better or gone. Also at 10 weeks, a questionnaire showed nearly twice as many massage patients (around two thirds) as usual-care patients (more than one third) were functioning significantly better than at the trial's outset. Patients in the massage groups spent fewer days in bed, were more active, and used less anti-inflammatory medication than did those with usual care.

"As expected with most treatments, the benefits of massage declined over time," Dr. Cherkin said. "But at six months after the trial started, both types of massage were still associated with improved function." After one year, the benefits of massage were no longer significant.

The bottom line: "We found the benefits of massage are about as strong as those reported for other effective treatments: medications, acupuncture, exercise, and yoga," Dr. Cherkin said. "And massage is at least as safe as other treatment options. So people who have persistent back pain may want to consider massage as an option."

Prior studies of massage for back pain had tested only structural forms of massage, not relaxation massage. But relaxation (also called Swedish) massage is the most widely available and is taught in massage schools. It aims to promote a feeling of relaxation throughout the body. By contrast, structural massage involves identifying and focusing on specific pain-related "soft tissues" (like muscles and ligaments). It requires extra training and may be more expensivebut more likely to be covered by health insurance plansthan relaxation massage.

"The massage therapists assumed structural massage would prove more effective than relaxation massage," said Dr. Cherkin's colleague Karen J. Sherman, PhD, MPH, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute. "They were surprised when patients in the relaxation group got so much relief from their back pain."

Next steps include figuring out whether the structural and relaxation massages were equally effective for the sameor for differentreasons:

  • Structural or relaxation massage, or both, might have specific effects, such as stimulating tissue or calming the central nervous system.

  • Either or both might work through "nonspecific effects" that may promote a person's ability to play an active role in their own healing. Possible nonspecific effects include: being touched; spending time in a relaxing environment; receiving care from a therapist who seems caring; getting advice on caring for yourself, such as exercises to do on your own; or becoming more aware of your own body, so you're better able to avoid triggers for your back pain.

  • Some combination of specific and nonspecific effects might be at play.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rebecca Hughes
hughes.r@ghc.org
206-287-2055
Group Health Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Adults demonstrate modified immune response after receiving massage, Cedars-Sinai researchers show
2. Ayurvedic Cooking, Massages and Yoga -- Relaxing for Children Charity -- Retreats at an Ashram in India
3. Massage Therapy School Trains for In-Demand Careers in Massage Therapy
4. Atlanta School of Massage Celebrates 30th Anniversary with a New Green Design and New Name for its Teaching Clinic: SensAbility
5. BestMassage.com Launches Its Brand New Customer-Focused Website
6. Massage Envy Provides Effective Way to Manage Arthritis Pain
7. Massage Envy Announces Franchisee of the Year
8. Massage Envy Offers Relief for Fibromyalgia Sufferers
9. Forget the Flowers for Mother's Day This Year -- Get Her a Massage Instead
10. Massage Envy Reduces Stress With Spring Massage
11. Human Touch Returns to High Point Market with the First iPhone/iPod Touch Controlled Massage Chair
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Massage eases low back pain in randomized controlled trial
(Date:2/12/2016)... Opelousas, LA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... of St. Landry and Evangeline Parishes. The purpose of these scholarships is to ... to encourage those individuals to seek employment within these two parishes. , “We ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... Enforcement Trends: , Back to the Future , Feb. 25, 2016 — 11:00 a.m. – ... who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” , An analysis of CDRH’s ... But that takes time. , Take a close look at the warning letters the ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... As a ... hectic schedule, a demanding job, and no time to decompress, Rabinowitz found herself drawn ... herself to meditation for its impact on her life, implementing a 20-minute-per-day meditation practice ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... Series at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on April 5-7. The series is ... and create new habits. The workshops cover a broad range of topics, including ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Vegas, NV (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... North Las Vegas Mayor John J. Lee, Nevada Military Support Alliance president Scott Bensing, ... Fisher House at the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System. This will be the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... --  National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO ... statement today in response to the detailed "preferred pharmacy" ... Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and conducted in response ... patient advocacy organizations and members of ... CMS analysis. Our initial reaction is that more work ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Demers Ambulances announces its first delivery in the ... Okaloosa County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) consisting of ... LT2 van. Quality Emergency Vehicles in Lecanto, FL ... sale.  This is the latest in Demers, ongoing expansion of ... at Demers. --> Benoit LaFortune , Executive Vice ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... -- Memorial Hermann Health System has teamed up with Houston ... a one-of-a-kind experience to pediatric patients at Children,s ... 360-degree video and Google Cardboard, Howard was able to ... the patients and their families an unexpected, and energetically ... video . Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: