The majority of us know what back pain feels like, some more than others. But are pain killers and proprietary drugs the only real anti-dote? A recent study was conducted with four hundered adults (average age mid-40s) who had moderate to chronic back pain.
Participants were randomly chosen to receive either standard treatments or a ten week course of one hour massages. Massage types were of two types, normal relaxation massage or specific structural massage to relieve tensions in both tissues and joints. At the end of the ten week period, all groups showed improvement, but this was greater in the massage group than those who had proprietary drug based treatment.
Furthermore, the massage group tended to show more pronounced rehabilitation in terms of their everyday activities and less need for the doctor or time off work. After a year, both groups were reported as losing the marked difference, showing an equal deterioration.
Pain assessment data was collected as a result of group members completing questionnaires. Both sets of patients were aware of the alternative grouping they had been placed in – this may have had some effect on the accuracy of reporting. The original reporting of this study was found in the 5th July issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (login is required to see study).
No inference should be drawn from this article alone as to the effectiveness of any treatment, and patients already being treated should consult their doctor before considering changing any treatment.