Study Seeks to Refine Understanding of Massage Therapy Effectiveness for Neck Pain

A study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine found that the length and frequency of massage therapy administered to patients with chronic neck pain had a significant bearing on the level of pain alleviation experienced. Researchers focused on determining effective dose levels and noted improvements in neck-related dysfunction and pain with multiple hour-long massages every week for one month. Massages of shorter length and less frequency did not lead to any meaningful improvements in neck-related dysfunction or pain.

A total of 228 participants were recruited for this study from Group Health, an integrated healthcare system in Seattle, and from the general Seattle population. Participants were between the ages of 20 and 64 years and had chronic neck pain that lasted at least three months. Individuals who received an hour-long massage three times per week were about five times more likely to experience improvements in neck-related dysfunction and more than twice as likely to experience improvements in pain intensity when compared to the control group. Read the original article on the study here.

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