resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
September, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 09
Massage for Back Pain: Let's Look at the Research
By Peter W. Crownfield
Statistics show that nearly 80% of adults suffer from at least one episode of back pain in their lives.1 If you're not a believer in statistics and averages, you probably don't have to look too far to find tangible, real-life examples of back pain - perhaps even from personal experience.
The economic and physical consequences of back pain are fairly clear: billions of dollars in lost workdays, insurance resources, and health care costs each year2, coupled with significant disability and dysfunction. However, pinning down the source of the pain, and doing something about it, can be an entirely different matter. Muscle strain; normal wear-and tear; overexertion; poor posture; improper lifting; organ dysfunction; disease; and stress are just some of the potential causes of back pain. Even the so-called health care "experts" rarely agree on what causes back pain, or on the most effective approach to managing the condition.
Consumer utilization of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has risen dramatically in the past 10 years3, and with it, the number of back pain patients seeking massage. In 1997, one in three U.S. adults with low back pain sought the services of a CAM provider, particularly massage therapists, chiropractors and acupuncturists.3,4
Despite the common-sense notion that massage therapy can help ease back pain, few scientific studies have confirmed beneficial results - until recently. Since 1999, four major randomized, controlled trials5,6,7,8 and one systematic literature review9 have evaluated the efficacy of massage for treating back pain. The most recent (and perhaps most convincing) of the five appeared in the April 23, 2001 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine5, a publication of the American Medical Association.
This randomized trial compared therapeutic massage with traditional Chinese medical acupuncture and self-care education for chronic low back pain (LBP). Two hundred and sixty-two patients, 20-70 years old and with persistent LBP, were randomly selected from a local HMO to receive one of the three interventions for 10 weeks. Most patients had received initial treatment for their pain at least one year earlier, and most reported continuous pain in the year leading up to the study. Most were using pain medication (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Acupuncture and massage were provided by licensed therapists (12 massage therapists, 7 acupuncturists) with at least three years of experience in their respective fields.
Patients in the massage group (N=78) received up to 10 massage visits, consisting of various massage techniques, including Swedish, movement re-education; deep tissue; moist heat or cold; trigger or pressure point; and neuromuscular. The massage therapists also recommended stretching exercises and educated patients on "body awareness" techniques to help recognize early warning signs of injury.
Patients in the acupuncture group (N=94) received up to 10 treatments in the form of basic needling techniques; moxibustion; infrared lamp heat; cupping; and needle electrostimulation. As with the massage group, the acupuncture group was given exercise recommendations.
Patients in the self-care group (N=90) received a book and two videotapes that discussed management and prevention strategies for chronic back pain.
Patients in all three groups retained access to their HMO medical provider during the study period. Phone interviews served to assess outcomes at 4, 10 and 52 weeks after randomization; results are presented as follows:
In their conclusion, lead author Daniel Cherkin and colleagues note: "Therapeutic massage was effective for persistent low back pain, apparently providing long-lasting benefits. Traditional Chinese Medical acupuncture was relatively ineffective. Massage might be an effective alternative to conventional medical care for persistent back pain."
Is massage an effective therapeutic treatment for back pain? No doubt your patients think so, especially after months or years of receiving your care. It's good to see that, slowly but surely, the research is proving what the massage community, and the people it serves, have always known.
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