Massage therapy is often integrated into treatment plans for several specific diseases and conditions. A seven-year, international study published in February finds that some alternative therapies such as massage are better choices for managing most common neck pain than many current practices. Also included in the short-list of best options for neck pain management are acupuncture, exercise, neck mobilization, low level laser therapy, and pain relievers.
The Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders review of the current research on neck pain is published in the journal Spine. The Task Force was created to help neck pain sufferers and health professionals use the best research evidence to prevent, diagnose and manage neck pain.
"Neck pain is not a trivial condition for many people," says Task Force president Dr. Scott Haldeman, clinical professor, department of neurology at the University of California, Irvine. "It can be associated with headaches, arm and upper back pain and depression. Understanding the best way to diagnose and manage this condition is of high importance for those who are suffering and for those who manage its care."
The study found that neck pain is a recurrent condition for the majority of sufferers. Neck pain is a common health problem, especially among older adults, and affects between 10 and 15 percent of the population. It is disabling for approximately two out of every 20 people who experience neck pain and affects their ability to carry on with daily activities.
Therapies such as neck collars and ultrasound are not recommended. Study findings indicate that neck pain sufferers should stay as active as possible, exercise and reduce stress. Trying a variety of therapies or combinations of therapies may be most effective.
Acupuncture & Massage College’s Massage Therapy program includes courses in Japanese Shiatsu, Swedish and medical massage. For program information call Joe Calareso at (305) 595-9500. For information about complementary and alternative therapies for wellness ask for Dr. Richard Browne, Acupuncture Physician.