Low back pain affects millions of people. Everyone knows that massage can be a great remedy for those suffering from low back pain. But did you know that it may be more effective than medication. A study published in the Annals of International Medicine suggests this massage therapy might indeed alleviate back pain better in the short term than traditional intervention of medicine. The investigation took place by the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, WA. It involved 400 patients who all had back pain. The majority of the patients were middle aged Caucasian men and women. The researchers found that those that were given a series of massages were able to work better and were more active than those that were given traditional medical care, such as pain killers, muscle relaxers, or physical therapy.
This research project lasted for 10 weeks. Over one-third of the patients who were given massage therapy reported that their pain was improved or eliminated completely, as opposed to only one in 25 patients that received traditional medical care. This resulted in the massage patients spending less time on bed rest and took less pain killers or muscle relaxers.
Structural massage involves manipulating specific back pain related muscles and ligaments, while relaxation massage, known as the Swedish full body massage, involves body-wide relaxation. Even thought the massage therapy treatment lasted over a 10 week period, the research group continued to display improvement 6 months after the study. There was however no significant difference after one year. So just like weight loss in order to keep healthy and keep the weight off, one has to keep up with eating well and exercising often. The same goes for massage therapy for back pain. One massage feels great, but regular massage may have lasting results.