Chrysalis Healing Arts
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Massage for Easing Back Pain

Massage Effective in Easing Chronic Low Back Pain

Massage Therapy helps to reduce chronic low back pain and improve function, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study was funded by the National Center for Complementery and Integrative Health, a division of National Institutes of Health and was conducted by Daniel C. Cherink PhD of Group Health Research Institute. In the first study to compare relaxation and structural massage, the trial found that both types of massage worked equally well. The trial involved 401 patients who had non-specific low back pain for at least 3 months. The patients were assigned to one of three groups: standard medical care, relaxation massage or structural massage. The participants assigned to the massage groups received a one hour massage weekly for ten weeks. Their functional abilities, symptoms and medication usage were measured after the ten sessions, then at six months and one year. Researchers found that the massage recipients had more significant pain reduction and greater increase of functional abilities after ten weeks than the standard care group. The conclusion of the study was that ten weeks of weekly one hour massage sessions resulted in more rapid improvements in chronic low back pain than standard medical care. Benefits lasted for at least six months and all three groups were about equal after one year.

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