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What specific conditions can massage therapy help?

What are the benefits of massage therapy? to treat?

Massage therapy can assist in the management of a health problem or to improve health. The practice involves manipulation of soft tissue in the body. Massage is a practice that has been used in many societies and both Eastern as well as Western throughout the human race and was among the first instruments that individuals used to alleviate pain.

What are the different kinds of massage?

“Massage therapy” or “massage therapy” covers a wide range of methods. The most popular method of massaging in Western countries is known as Swedish also known as classical massage. it forms the basis of the majority of massage-related training programs. There are other styles of massage, such as massage for sports, clinical massage for specific goals like releasing muscles spasms and techniques that originate from Eastern culture, such as Shiatsu or Tuina.

Do massages help pain?

The use of massage therapy is investigated to treat a range of ailments such as low back pain, shoulder and neck discomfort, pain due to osteoarthritis in the knee, and headaches. The science behind it:

Low-Back Pain

Numerous studies of massage therapy to relieve back pain have revealed little evidence to suggest that massage can be beneficial.

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in a 2016 review of non-pharmacological therapies for lower back pain, reviewed 20 studies that evaluated massage with standard treatments or other methods and concluded some evidence suggesting that massage could be beneficial for chronic back pain, however the quality of the evidence was weak. The agency also reviewed six studies that evaluated different types of massage . However, they concluded there was not sufficient to determine whether certain types performed better than others.
A review in 2015 of 25 studies involving more than 3,096 participants showed that for both chronic and acute lower back pain, there was a short-term improvement in pain after massage therapy. However, since the study’s quality were not high, the researchers who reviewed the study concluded that they were of “very less certainty” that massage therapy is an effective treatment option for lower-back discomfort.
Clinical guidelines for practice (guidance for health professionals) released from the American College of Physicians in 2017 recommended massage therapy as a treatment option to treat acute or subacute low-back discomfort, but they did not include massage therapy in the list of options to treat chronic low-back pain.

Shoulder and neck pain

Massage therapy can be beneficial to ease shoulder or neck discomfort, however it is possible that the benefits will be limited to a brief duration.

A review from 2013 consisting of twelve study (757 individuals) discovered that massage therapy is more effective in treating shoulder and neck pain than other therapies, but it wasn’t more efficient than other active treatments. For shoulder discomfort, massage therapy provided some short-term benefits, but only for a short time.
A review from 2016 of 4 studies carried out by researchers in the United States (519 participants) found that massage can help in the short-term treatment of neck pain, if massage sessions were prolonged and regular enough.

Osteoarthritis in the Knee

The little amount of research conducted on massage therapy to treat arthritis of knees suggests it might have benefits in the short-term in alleviating knee pain.

In six studies that examined massage therapy to treat osteoarthritis of the knee (408 total participants) Five of them found that it could provide short-term relief from pain. Two of the studies that demonstrated relief from pain (149 participants) made application the essential oils (aromatherapy massage).


A small amount of studies on massage therapy for headaches have been conducted. The studies examined various types of massage as well as various types of headaches, and their findings aren’t uniform.

A 2016 study involving 64 participants compared two types that of massage (lymphatic drainage, and conventional massage) every week, for 8 weeks for migraine sufferers. In both cases, the frequency of migraines was reduced for both types of massage, when compared those who were on waiting lists.
In a study from 2015 in 2015, 56 participants suffering from tension headaches were randomized to receive massages at myofascial triggers or unactive treatments (detuned ultrasound) each week for six weeks, or be placed on waiting lists. The people who were either treated with massage or non-active treatment saw a reduction in headache frequency However, it was not evident that there were any differences in both groups.
A study from 2011 evaluated the impact of hand massage as a part of the treatment of migraine with multimodal behaviors among 83 participants. Massage did not have any impact on the frequency of migraine.

Can massage help cancer patients?

With the right security measures, massage therapy may be a part of the supportive treatment for cancer patients who’d want to give it a try; However, evidence that it relieves anxiety and pain isn’t conclusive.

Massage therapy, either with and with or without aromatic therapy (the usage of essential oils) is used in an attempt to ease anxiety, pain and other symptoms for people who suffer from cancer. An evaluation in 2016 of more than 19 clinical trials (more than 1200 people) of massage therapy for cancer patients showed some evidence suggesting that massage could aid in relieving anxiety and pain However, the quality of evidence was very weak (because most studies were not large and some might be biased) and the results weren’t consistent.
Clinical guidelines for practice (guidance for health professionals) to help care for breast cancer patients recommend massage , as one the strategies that could be helpful in reducing stress anxiety, depression fatigue, and general living quality. Guidelines for clinical practice in the treatment of the patients with cancer of the lung suggest that massage may be included as a part of support for patients who experience pain or anxiety that is not controlled with regular care.
Massage therapists could have to alter their methods when dealing with cancer patients, for instance, they might require less pressure than normal in areas that are more sensitive because of cancer or treatments.

Massage may be helpful in treating Fibromyalgia-related symptoms?

Massage therapy can be beneficial for some symptoms of fibromyalgia when it’s done for sufficient time.

A 2014 review of the results of 9 research tests (404 people in total) found the use of massage, when continued for at minimum 5 weeks, helped reduce anxiety, pain, and depression among people suffering from fibromyalgia. However, it did not affect sleep issues.
A review comprising 10 different studies (478 participants) examined the effects on different types of massage therapy . The study found that the majority of styles of massage have positive effects on the quality of life of patients with Fibromyalgia. Swedish massage is one exception. However, two studies on this kind that used therapy (56 people) did not find any benefit.

Massage can help babies grow?

There is evidence that infants who have been massaged might experience an increase in weight. Massage benefits are not evident for full-term normal infants has been demonstrated in any way.

A review of research conducted in 2017 analyzed the findings of 34 studies of massage treatment to premature babies. 20 of these studies (1,250 newborns) examined the effects in the effects of massages on weight gain with the majority of studies showing improvement. The mechanism behind how massage therapy can boost weight gain isn’t fully comprehended. Certain studies have suggested that there are other benefits of massage therapy, however because the evidence available is minimal, no conclusions can be drawn about the any other effects besides weight gain.
A 2013 study of 34 studies on healthy full-term infants did not find any evidence for the beneficial effects of massage for the low-risk infants.

What are the potential risks associated with massage therapy?

The danger of negative consequences from massage therapy appears to be minimal. However there are a few reports of serious adverse effects, such as blood bleeding, nerve injury or fractures in bones. A few of the cases reported have involved intense types of massage, like deep tissue massage or people who may be at a higher risk of injuries, like older people.