If you suffer from back pain and are finding that drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen are becoming the norm in your daily routine, consider trying massage therapy as a drug-free alternative. According to a new study conducted by researchers at the College of Health at the University of Utah, massage therapy, when started at the first signs of back pain, can help offer relief. (source).
For the study, researchers closely monitored around 200 patients over the course of one year who had recently complained of lower back pain. Half of the patients were assigned to massage therapy, while the other half received no form of treatment. Researchers found that massage therapy did in fact yield a modest benefit to the participants’ back pain.
“There are no quick fixes or `magic bullets’ for treating back pain,” said Julie Fritz, associate dean for research at the College of Health at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and the study’s lead author.
“The take-home message for patients is that physical therapy may help somewhat in promoting a more rapid return to function following an episode of low back pain.”
This isn’t the only study indicating that massage therapy can be useful for relieving back pain. Several other studies have found similar results.
Back pain is a common condition experienced by men and women of all ages. According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), more than 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at any given time. In addition to the physical pain that it brings, it can also force individuals to miss work. Back pain is cited as being one of the most common reasons for missed work.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans who suffer from back pain resort to medication to mask the problem. Drugs such as those mentioned above may offer temporary relief of back pain, but the benefits begin to diminish quickly. To make matters worse, the side effects associated with painkillers are often worse than the actual pain. Acetaminophen, for instance, – the primary ingredient in Tylenol and other painkillers – is responsible for an estimated 56,000 emergency visits each year in the U.S.
Rather than resorting to medication to treat your back pain, consider massage therapy. It’s a safe, natural and effective way to relieve back pain.
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