Low Back Pain Study finds Massage Therapy is More Effective than Conventional Treatments

According to this WebMD story a recent study shows massage therapy to be a more effective treatment than traditional therapies.

The study randomly assigned 400 adults with moderate-to-severe low back pain lasting for at least three months to either weekly relaxation massage sessions, weekly deep tissue massage sessions specifically focused on the lower back and hips, or usual care.  After 10 weeks, participants in both massage groups reported reduced pain and improved function compared to those in the usual care group.

Participants reported benefiting from both relaxation massage as well as site specific deep tissue massage.  The researchers can’t explain this but I would guess that any form of positive touch encourages relaxation and reduces pain.

“I think this trial is good news in the sense that it suggests that massage is a useful option that helps some substantial fraction of these patients,” says study researcher Richard A. Deyo, MD, a professor in the department of family medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

One physician who was interviewed for this article spoke of the importance of exercise in combination with massage therapy.

“Certainly, it’s not going to hurt,” says Fredrick P. Wilson, DO, director of the Cleveland Clinic Solon Center for Spine Health, in Ohio.  “But it’s a short-term improvement, and it’s certainly not a fix,” says Wilson, who reviewed the study for WebMD but was not involved in the research.

“When we see patients, we push them toward active exercise rather than passive natural therapy kind of a thing. If they can have stronger core strength to support their spine, they’re going to be better off in the long run. So we’re trying to fix, rather than ease, their pain,” Wilson says.

Stronger core strength to support the spine.  I like the sound of that.  What can massage, or better yet the combination of movement + massage do for you?  Call Anne today and she will happily customize a movement + massage program just for you!