Harvard report endorses massage therapy for acute LBP

January 18, 2013
Jan. 15, Cambridge, Mass. – A 2012 report issued by Harvard Medical School endorses massage therapy for patients with low back pain (LBP).

Low back pain can be highly uncomfortable, debilitating and disruptive for those who suffer from it and has been implicated as a major factor in lost work time and health care spending in North America.

The Harvard Medical School Special Health Report, titled Low Back Pain – Healing Your Aching Back (published by Harvard Health Publications) outlines, for both health professionals and lay-readers, factors leading or contributing to LBP and suggests therapeutic options for patients who live with it.  Amongst these, massage therapy is listed as a viable therapeutic option for patients suffering from LBP.

The report quotes a study that shows: “acupressure massage (also called shiatsu), which involves applying finger pressure to points that lie along acupuncture meridians, gave greater relief than traditional Swedish massage,” and also notes that “Another [study] found similar results from Swedish and Thai massage, in which the therapist moves the massage recipient into a series of poses, and includes muscle compression, joint mobilization, and acupressure.”*

The report also quotes a study that states, “receiving massages may enable you to spend less on doctor visits and pain medications.”

To receive this report –and other health reports – in full, and/or to obtain permission to distribute it to patients and/or colleagues, please visit www.health.harvard.edu/


 * Excerpts reproduced with permission.

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