This was a study that was just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on the use of massage therapy for chronic low back pain. It follows several other studies done on massage therapy and low back pain and finds the same results.
Massage is one of the most popular complementary and alternative medical therapies for neck and back pain (1), conditions that account for more than one third (2) of the more than 100 million annual visits to massage therapists in the United States (3). Almost all massage therapists in the United States use Swedish massage techniques aimed at relaxation, but only a minority take courses in such techniques as structural massage for treatment of chronic low back pain. Recent reviews have found limited evidence that massage is an effective treatment of chronic back pain (4, 5), and no studies have compared relaxation massage with structural massage, which focuses on correcting soft-tissue abnormalities. We therefore conducted a trial to determine whether relaxation massage reduces pain and improves function in patients with chronic low back pain and compared relaxation and structural massage for treating this condition.
The conclusion was that massage therapy may be effective for treatment of chronic back pain, with benefits lasting at least 6 months. No clinically meaningful difference between relaxation and structural massage was observed in terms of relieving disability or symptoms.
Click HERE to read the entire study…