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Cary Cook BSN RN

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Back Pain? Head Straight to the Massage Therapist

By Danielle Serrano
 
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Photo: Getty Images

Are you constantly looking for a new excuse to get your honey (or even your buddy) to rub your back? Look no further!

A recent study reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine Journal has found that massage can be even more beneficial than the usual care you might get at a doctor’s office.

This study used participants who had been treated for back pain before, but without having a specific condition. That is, they did not have arthritis, cancer, sciatica, injury or any other cause for pain. The study compared two different types of massage, structural and relaxation, with usual treatment for back pain (no massage). Those who had “usual treatment” simply continued their normal treatment for back pain but did not receive massage.

Through the measurements on the 10th and 26th week follow ups, there was a greater improvement and less chronic low back pain in study participants who received massage therapy when compared to the participants who had undergone their usual treatment.

Both forms of massage showed a significant improvement in the chronic low-back pain. Generally, the cost of a relaxation massage is less expensive and practiced more frequently than structural (so ask your masseuse for a simple relaxation massage).

Although this research provides the perfect excuse for a much-needed rub, keep in mind that the conclusions from this study resulted from massages from trained and licensed massage therapists. For severe pain, see a chiropractor or licensed masseuse and discuss the best treatment for you instead of relying on the hands of kind friend.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, low back pain is the second most common reason for visiting the doctor, proving to be an issue needing much attention! Some tips to prevent back pain include:

1. Maintain a healthy weight and diet.

2. Lead an active lifestyle. (Lift with your knees, not your back)!

3. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle.

4. Have good posture! Have posture partners! Keep your friends in check, and make sure they return the favor. Everyone strives for better posture!

5. Work out your abs. Keeping the front strong helps keep the back strong.

Add a Comment2 Comments

Danielle Serrano

Good information! Thank you for the insight!

August 27, 2011 - 8:24pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Good article, although I would like to correct you on the usage of the word "masseuse". I am not a masseuse. I am a Licensed Massage Therapist. Most states, including NH (where I am from) require us to go to school, graduate and obtain a license from the state as well as print that number on our business cards.

August 27, 2011 - 3:47pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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