Take Back Your Life.

Take Back Your Life.

Massage for Chronic pain

What the Science Says About the Effectiveness of Massage,

Much evidence points toward beneficial effects on pain and other symptoms associated with a number of different conditions.

Pain

Based on studied evidence, massage therapy can provide significant improvement for pain, anxiety and health-related quality of life for those looking to manage their pain.

Mental health ▪

A 2010 meta-analysis of 17 clinical trials concluded that massage therapy may help to reduce depression.

Safety

▪ Massage therapy appears to have few risks when performed by a trained practitioner.

▪ Do not use massage therapy to replace conventional care or to postpone seeing a health care provider about a medical problem.

▪ If you have a medical condition and are unsure whether massage therapy would be appropriate for you, discuss your concerns with your health care provider.

▪ Ask about the training, experience, and credentials of the massage therapist you are considering. Also ask about the number of treatments that might be needed.

▪ Tell all your health care providers about any complementary and integrative health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will ensure coordinated and safe care.

Based on studied evidence, massage therapy can provide significant improvement for pain, anxiety and health-related quality of life for those looking to manage their pain.

Chronic Back Pain

Each year, up to one-quarter of U.S. adults experience low-back pain. Most people have significant back pain at least once in their lives; often, the cause is unknown. For many people, it lasts only a few weeks. But for others, the pain can become chronic and even debilitating.

Massage therapy helped reduce pain and improve function more rapidly than usual medical care in people with chronic low-back pain, according to researchers at Group Health Research Institute and the University of Washington in Seattle, the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and the University of Vermont in Burlington.

The trial enrolled just over 400 Group Health patients who had low-back pain with no identified cause for at least 3 months. The participants were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: Therapeutic massage, relaxation massage, or usual care (standard medical care). Study personnel who assessed outcomes were blinded to the treatment assignment.

Therapeutic massage is intended to address musculoskeletal causes of back pain through soft-tissue techniques. Relaxation massage is intended to promote a sense of relaxation. Usual care for low-back pain may include medication, physical therapy, back exercises, and education.

Participants assigned to the massage groups received 1 hour of massage once a week for 10 weeks. The participants’ symptoms, medication use, and ability to perform daily functions were measured after completion of the 10 treatments, then at 6 months, and again after 1 year.

Significantly greater improvements in disability and bothersomeness of symptoms were seen at 10 weeks in both massage groups compared to those who received usual care. For example, at 10 weeks massage recipients were better able to perform daily activities, were more active, spent fewer days in bed, and used less anti-inflammatory medication than those who received usual care

Reference: Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Kahn J, et al. A comparison of the effects of 2 types of massage and usual care on chronic low-back pain: a randomized, controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2011;155(1):1–9.

 
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Fibromyalgia: What the Science Says

National Institutes of Health

Massage Results of a recent systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that massage therapy with a duration of 5 weeks or longer had beneficial immediate effects on improving pain, anxiety, and depression.

What Does the Research Show? ▪ A 2014 systematic review and meta-analysis of nine randomized controlled trials involving 404 participants with fibromyalgia syndrome found that massage therapy with a duration of 5 weeks or longer had beneficial immediate effects on improving pain, anxiety, and depression. ▪ A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis of 10 randomized and non-randomized controlled trials involving a total of 145 participants concluded that overall, most styles of massage therapy consistently improved the quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia syndrome.

Safety

Massage therapy appears to have few serious risks - if it is performed by a properly trained therapist and if appropriate cautions are followed. The number of serious injuries reported is very small. Side effects of massage therapy may include temporary pain or discomfort, bruising, swelling, and a sensitivity or allergy to massage oils. Cautions about massage therapy include the following:

• Vigorous massage should be avoided by people with bleeding disorders or low blood platelet counts, and by people taking blood-thinning medications such as warfarin.

• Massage should not be done in any area of the body with blood clots, fractures, open or healing wounds, skin infections, or weakened bones (such as from osteoporosis or cancer), or where there has been a recent surgery.

• Although massage therapy is generally safe for cancer patients, they should consult their oncologist before having a massage that involves deep or intense pressure.