Massage Therapy Effective for Chronic Low Back Pain

(HealthDay News) — Massage therapy may provide some relief in chronic low back pain, according to a study published online recently in Pain Medicine.

Researchers asked physicians to recommend massage therapy for patients with chronic low back pain. One hundred and four study volunteers were then paired with an approved, experienced massage therapist in their area who evaluated them and created a treatment plan. The study participants received 10 treatments, which they set up directly with their therapist.

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The researchers found that more than half of the participants had less pain after 12 weeks and many continued to report reduced pain after three months. Massage therapy was also found to work better with patients aged 50 years and older, although younger patients benefited, too.

“These results are exciting because it shows that most doctors can refer their patients for massage as a treatment. It’s applicable to the real world,” study author William Elder, Ph.D., of the University of Kentucky’s departments of family and community medicine and clinical services in Lexington, told HealthDay. “Some medical providers have taken interest in massage, but most don’t know which type would be helpful. We learned that just referring the patient to a massage therapist and letting them work to select the therapy is effective.”

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