Massage helps reduce back pain and related long-term disability

Workers who suffer from back pain in Wisconsin and across the United States may want to seek out their local massage therapist based on the results of a new study. The new study shows that massage therapy reduces lower back pain and therefore prevents incidents of related long-term disability and income loss.

The overuse and overwork of the body leads to injuries that cost employers 13.4 billion every year. The collective cost to employees may be greater. Back injuries are the leading cause of lost days of work, but a new study shows that therapeutic massage can help prevent loss of income, long-term disability and reliance on long-term disability caused by low back pain.

The study was conducted by Daniel Cherkin PhD who is a senior associate at Group Health Research Institute. Four hundred patients with non-specific low back pain were enrolled in the study for one year. Participants received one hour of structural or relaxation massage once a week for 10 weeks.

One out of three participants who received massage therapy were pain free after ten weeks compared to one out of 25 people who received the normal medication-oriented treatment. Massage therapy continued to help participants even after six months and helped participants remain active and productive.


Alan Olson writes this web-log to provide helpful information regarding long-term disability cases. He practices long-term disability law throughout the United States from his offices in New Berlin, Wisconsin. Attorney Olson may be contacted at [email protected] with questions about the information posted here or for advice on specific disability benefit claims.

According to the study deep relaxation of the body can help put the body in an optimal repair state. The researchers say therapeutic massage is likely to be covered by some insurance companies in comparison to less effective treatments like relaxation or Swedish massage.

Like most treatments, the benefits of massage declined over time. At one year the benefits of massage were no longer significant.

Source: The Washington Times, “New study shows massage improves low back pain,” Adam Helfer, 7/17/11


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