Do you suffer from lower back pain? Most Americans will experience lower back pain at some point during their life. Do you like going to the spa? New government-funded research suggests that massage therapy may be better than medication or exercise for relieving low back pain.
The study included over 400 patients, mostly white, middle-aged, females who suffered from chronic lower back pain. Each patient was randomly assigned to one of three groups: structural massage, relaxation massage (Swedish massage), or usual care. Both massage groups were given hour-long massages weekly, for 10 weeks
The researchers found that that women who received a series of massages were better able to work and be active for up to a year than those who received standard medical care, which included treatments like painkillers, muscle relaxers, physical therapy, etc.
After a year, pain levels were fairly equal in all three groups.
However, after only 10 weeks, over one-third of the massage group said their back pain was better or gone compared to only one in 25 patients who did not receive massage therapy. Additionally, the massage patients were twice as likely to have spent fewer days in bed, used anti-inflammatory medication and participated in more activity than the patients who received standard care.
Massage therapy seems to be useful for more than just relaxation. Have you had experience with massage therapy to treat pain? How was your experience?
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