Thai massage, joint mobilization help with low-back pain: study

Massage Therapy Canada staff
September 19, 2017
By Massage Therapy Canada staff
Thai massage and joint mobilization are equally effective as short-term treatment for reducing pain and disability in patients with chronic non-specific low-back pain. This was the finding of a recent prospective, randomized study published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.

Massage therapists and their patients suffering from nonspecific low-back pain (LBP) can turn to a combination of traditional Thai massage and joint mobilization for relief, a statement from the Massage Therapy Foundation said.

The study was conducted at the orthopedic outpatient department at Lerdsin General Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand, and included 120 hospital outpatients – 20 male and 100 female. Participants were randomized into traditional Thai massage and joint mobilization therapy. The average age of traditional Thai massage and joint mobilization was 50.7 years and 48.3 years, respectively. Both groups received each treatment for approximately 30 minutes twice per week over a four-week period. Total course did not exceed eight sessions, the study said.

"Non-specific low back pain is a common health problem resulting from many risk factors and human behaviors. Some of these may interact synergistically and have been implicated in the cause of low back pain. Massage – both traditional Thai massage and joint mobilization – as a common practice has been shown to be effective for some subgroup of nonspecific LBP patients," the study authors wrote.

The study proved both traditional Thai massage and joint mobilization are "equally effective for short-term reduction of pain and disability in chronic nonspecific LBP."

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