Monday, April 17, 2017
More than just pampering, scientific research has concluded massage is an effective treatment for chronic lower back pain. In the first study of its kind researchers analyzed data from primary care physicians who referred patients with chronic lower back pain for 10 massage sessions with licensed massage therapists in their community.
Over half of study participants had clinically significant improvements in their lower back pain. The best results were seen in patients over 49 years of age.
Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide. With 31 million Americans experiencing lower back pain on a daily basis, massage could provide therapeutic relief while reducing disability and absenteeism from work.
Some studies have also found massage to be therapeutic for treating fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, GI disorders, insomnia, joint pain, sports injuries, and headaches. Some research has even shown temporary reduction in blood pressure and heart rate after treatment.
Various types of massage provide different benefit, for example Swedish massage uses gentle kneading and long strokes to move muscles and tendons for relaxation, while trigger point massage uses deep pressure to reach tight muscles after injury.
While massage is beneficial and safe for most people, some people should discuss treatment with their doctor first. This includes people with bleeding disorders or taking blood-thinning medication, DVT, fractures, osteoporosis, thrombocytopenia, or injury to skin such as burns or wounds. Look for licensed massage therapists to ensure proper training and safety.