Massage for Low Back Pain
Low back pain can be difficult to treat and debilitating for people who suffer from it. According to research completed by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes, “Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on low back pain, the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work. Back pain is the second most common neurological ailment in the United States.” Typical medical treatments for low back pain are physical therapy, injections, pain medication both over the counter and prescribed and surgery.
The medical community is looking to CAM therapies (Complimentary and Alternative Medicine) in addition to traditional medical protocols to treat low back pain. Massage therapy is the leader in alternative therapies making it the most sought and also the highest out-of-pocket CAM expense.
A new randomize study on massage and its effectiveness to aid in pain reduction for low back pain has positive results. For 61% to 64% of participants in the study results show a 2 – 4 point improvement on a 23 point scale in ability to complete activities of daily living and a 2 point improvement in pain on a 10 point pain scale. In addition to those statistics, it is notable that 36% to 39% of participants involved in the study reported their pain was completely gone after a 10 week regimen of massage therapy. The outcome either on a large scale or small is positive.
When seeking massage therapy for low back pain knowing your therapists education is important. Specialty massage services such as Orthopedic and Pain Management or Medical Massage can be important depending on the severity of low back pain you experience. Notable is that all massage modalities have the ability to aid in the reduction of low back pain. Being sure your therapist is working within their scope of practice is key to receiving the greatest benefits massage therapy can provide in the reduction of and improvement in low back pain.