Massage Research – Low Back Pain

A study published June 2000 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal:

“Effectiveness of massage therapy for subacute low-back pain: a randomized controlled trial”

The study followed about 100 people suffering from sub acute lower back pain.  They were divided into 4 groups: those receiving a placebo, those receiving only exercises and posture education, those receiving only Swedish massage, and those receiving “comprehensive massage therapy” (Swedish massage, posture education and exercises)

The comprehensive massage therapy group had 50% improved function  , 70% less intense pain and a 50% decrease in the quality of pain compared with the other 3 groups.

At the 1 month follow-up 63% of subjects in the comprehensive massage therapy group reported no pain as compared with 27% of the soft-tissue manipulation group, 14% of the remedial exercise group and 0% of the sham laser therapy group.

The results not only show that massage therapy is an effective means of pain management, but also that a more comprehensive approach to massage therapy yields the best results.

Ken Shim, RMT