The effectiveness of massage as a stress reliever and muscle relaxer is well known. New studies also link massage as a successful treatment option for those who suffer from chronic lower-back pain. The online journal, LiveScience.com. reports that, “about eight in 10 people in the U.S. experience at least one bout of lower-back pain in their lives.” Those findings were revealed in a 2010 report conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Adults between the ages of 30 to 50 are the group that’s most afflicted with this type of pain. That is largely due to high rates of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle often observed within that population. There are also parallels along the range of lower-back pain issues, which include strained muscles, bulging discs, sciatica and spinal stenosis.
In the LiveScience article, Dr. Christopher Maher, director of the musculoskeletal division at the George Institute for Global Health at the University of Sydney in Australia, noted that the most common form of lower-back pain is called, “common nonspecific back pain.” According to Maher, this category accounts for 90 percent of all cases of recorded lower-back pain.
A 2014 study that was published in Scientific World Journal related the results of an investigation as to how well sufferers of lower-back pain responded to massage therapy alone as compared to combining it with non-steroid anti-inflammatory medication. Fifty-nine patients were divided into two groups. All of the participants suffered from lower-back pain and had been diagnosed with degenerative changes to the spine, other intervertebral disc diseases or spine pain. Both groups reported a significant reduction in their levels and frequency of pain. Researchers concluded that, “massage had a positive effect on patients with chronic low-back pain and propose that the use of massage causes fast therapeutic results and that, in practice, it could help to reduce the use of anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of chronic low-back pain.”
To add a bit more credibility to the idea that massage is an effective treatment for lower-back pain, another study was conducted by Seattle’s Beth Israel-Deaconess Center for Alternative Medicine Research and Education and the Center for Health Studies. Analysts concluded once again that, “therapeutic massage was an effective treatment for providing long-lasting benefits for patients suffering from chronic low back pain.”
That unobtrusive, medication-free, therapeutic massage may be an effective alternative or complement to conventional medical care for persistent lower-back pain is certainly good news for millions who deal with this debilitating health issue.
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