Massage Therapy Effective in Treating Low-Back Pain

A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that massage therapy was an effective modality in treating low back pain in a sample of about 400 patients aged 20 to 65 with chronic low back pain.

Patients received a one-hour massage treatment once a week over a ten week period. While the benefits of the 10 sessions diminished over time, the positive outcomes were still evident after six months.

This result is hardly surprising to the thousands of Massage Therapists and their clients already in the know.

What speaks to me, however, is the need for further research into strength and conditioning work following soft tissue treatment in a sample group like the one in the study.

I would expect to see a substantial improvement in a group that "shored up" their strength and flexibility deficits following their massage work vs. a group who received only soft tissue work.

It is in the continued strengthening, stretching, and challenging of the myofascial tissues where we would expect to see longer term results, and in many cases, a complete resolution of pain symptoms.

Massage is an effective tool for treating low back pain, but we can build on our results by adding strength and flexibility work to our treatment plans.

More to come on this topic in future blogs!

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