“Based on research to date, massage therapy generally seems to be helpful, when compared with doing nothing, and it tends to be very safe,” said Peter Wayne, research director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. “It's worth a try.”
On the downside, insurance coverage for
massage therapy varies, and many people end up paying the full cost.
Choosing a massage therapist also presents some challenges.
one thing, practitioners vary considerably in their level of training
and experience, the Harvard Health publication said. There are also
several varieties of massage, sometimes known as “touch therapy,” to
choose from. Swedish massage, with its long, gliding strokes and
kneading of the major muscle groups, is the most common type of massage
offered, but there are many others.
The best studies to date have
found that massage brought more relief than usual care steps such as
physical therapy or self-help at home (such as rest, ice, heat and
over-the-counter pain relievers) as well as acupuncture.
The full-length article, “Sore back? Try a massage,” can be found at Harvard Health Publications website.
The Harvard Men's Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School.
Adding massage to back pain care helps with faster recovery: study
It can take weeks or months to completely recover from a flare-up of low back pain. Adding massage to conventional back care can reduce pain and speed the return to normal activities, explains the March 2015 issue of Harvard Men's Health Watch.
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