Massage beats medication for lower back pain reports study in Annals of Internal Medicine

Massage beats medication for lower back pain reports study in Annals of Internal Medicine

Back pain is one of the most common complaints our office treats. As many of our patients know, our office uses an integrative approach of myofascial therapy, chiropractic manipulation and exercise, although this particular study was partial to massage.

Our office regularly recommends massage to our patients and we have our own in office therapist. Back pain is largely misunderstood by the medical community, and also by many who regularly treat the condition, creating often mixed results or no relief in certain cases. It is my belief, after reading and understanding the most recent information on the subject (Thomas Myers book on Anatomy Trains is a great example). By not recognizing the role of the myofascia (addressed by practitioners of fascial release and massage therapists), body styles and its secondary effects, treating back pain is a hit or miss proposition. The practitioner who treats the patient really needs to understand why the problem exists. All doctors study anatomy, and cut through the white junk to get to the muscles they are studying. The problem is that the white junk, or fascia plays a greater role than previously thought and actually acts as an exoskeleton, and coordinates muscular movement. It is also what is tight when an area tightens up, rather than the muscles underneath. Body style determines how the fascia adapts to our body style and using fascial release and also foot orthotics can actually change the way it works. Perhaps, this is why the study showed a positive outcome (something, I expected). While I do recommend fascial therapy, it should be used in conjunction with chiropractic manipulation (improves joint movement), and exercise (improves overall coordination and strength) for best effect. Using only chiropractic manipulation is hit or miss, as is only fascial therapy and as is only exercise. Also, without recognizing that back pain really a body style and ultimately a gait issue, will yield a much more complete diagnosis and a better overall outcome.

Read the article below

TUESDAY, July 5 (HealthDay News) — Massage therapy may be better than medication or exercise for easing low back pain in the short term, a new government-funded study suggests.
Seattle researchers recruited 401 patients, mostly middle-aged, female and white, all of whom had chronic low back pain.
Those who received a series of either relaxation massage or structural massage were better able to work and be active for up to a year than those getting “usual medical care,” which included painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants or physical therapy, the researchers found.
Lead study author Daniel Cherkin, director of Group Health Research Institute, said he had expected structural massage, which manipulates specific pain-related back muscles and ligaments, would prove superior to relaxation or Continue reading here…