Using Massage Therapy As A Treatment For Chronic Back Pain

Massage treatment has become so commonplace in modern medicine that it might not even seem like an alternative treatment. But, massage is still something that has yet to gain approval from the medical community at large. Still, its effects have been studied countless times and the benefits that massage can have for back pain have been well-documented.

Some scientific studies have suggested that massage can help reduce back pain significantly. Although medications, injections, and surgeries might be more traditional, a massage is certainly easier and less invasive. Many different studies have indicated that massage might actually be more powerful than previously thought.

Indeed, in a 2011 study, researchers found that people suffering from chronic lower back pain showed improvement after 10 weeks of receiving a traditional Swedish massage. The participants in the study reported less overall pain in the back and an improved ability to function after getting weekly massages. Another control group with lower back pain went about trying to treat their ailment in more conventional ways (medications, physical therapy, seeing chiropractors, etc.).

Those in the massage group reported feeling better and having less pain than their more conventional counterparts. This is certainly a win for masseuses across the globe who have sought to legitimize their trade for years.

But, this might also be a win for patients. In the study, the participants were subjected to Swedish massage, which is the type of massage you think of when you think of massages. It is the most basic type of massage, which means that it’s widely available to anyone suffering from chronic back pain. If the results of the study are true, then more and more people could potentially feel the benefits of a massage. The improvements that a massage can provide for your back are certainly unlike any other.

Indeed, by the end of the 10-week treatment in the study, more people in the “massage group” had completely lost their pain that those in the “conventional group.” This is a surprising result and it’s one that will surely be met with skepticism from both the medical world and the discerning public. The full story might not be apparent to most people, but massage is at least known to improve circulation and blood flow while also reducing muscle tension.

Still, for most medical professionals, the consensus on massage is that it is an occasionally effective treatment that is otherwise harmless to most folks who use it.

In the end, it’s really up to each individual whether they want to try massage therapy or not. It’s something that has been met with skepticism since its inception, but plenty of academic studies have illustrated its effectiveness. As with any alternative treatment for back pain, it’s important to talk to your doctor before seeking out massage therapy on your own.

There are certain instances when massage therapy can actually make things worse for the patient. Talk to your doctor to see if your chronic back pain is the result of something more than tight muscles.

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Selieus Bergam is a physical therapist currently residing in California. He was trained in Egypt and has over 20 years of experience helping peope who suffer from chronic back pain.