Massage therapy as a therapeutic intervention is being embraced by the medical community, it is simple to carry out, economical, and has very few side effects.
A recent State of the Art Review published in The British Medical Journal (Chen et al. 2017) takes a critical look at cupping, massage, acupuncture and yoga, but does not throw the baby out with the bathwater. This review summarizes evidence from basic science and clinical research related to rheumatoid arthritis and chronic neck and back pain.
This paper along with recent recommendations from The American College of Physicians (Chou et al. 2017, Qaseem et al. 2017) and Center for Disease Control (Frieden et al. 2016) represent a monumental shift in pain management.
Physicians, now more than ever are recommending conservative treatment including massage, spinal manipulation, acupuncture and exercise for patients suffering from pain.
If you are wanting to align yourself with a physician, but don't know where to start, here are ten articles that support the use of these non-pharmacological treatments for pain:
Chen, L., Michalsen, A. (2017). Management of chronic pain using complementary and integrative medicine. BMJ.
Chou, R., Deyo, R., Friedly, J., Skelly, A., Hashimoto, R., ... Brodt, E.D. (2017). Nonpharmacologic Therapies for Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review for an American College of Physicians Clinical Practice Guideline. Ann Intern Med.
Côté, P., Wong, J. J., Sutton, D., Shearer, H. M., . . . Salhany, R. (2016). Management of neck pain and associated disorders: A clinical practice guideline from the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) Collaboration. European Spine Journal.
Frieden, T. R., & Houry, D. (2016). Reducing the Risks of Relief — The CDC Opioid-Prescribing Guideline. New England Journal of Medicine.
Martins, W. R., Blasczyk, J. C., Oliveira, M. A., Gonçalves, K. F., Bonini-Rocha, A. C., Dugailly, P., & Oliveira, R. J. (2016). Efficacy of musculoskeletal manual approach in the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorder: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Manual Therapy.
Nahin, R. L., Boineau, R., Khalsa, P. S., Stussman, B. J., & Weber, W. J. (2016). Evidence-Based Evaluation of Complementary Health Approaches for Pain Management in the United States. Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Piper, S., Shearer, H., Côté, P., Wong, J., Yu, H., Varatharajan, S., . Taylor-Vaisey, A. (2016). The effectiveness of soft-tissue therapy for the management of musculoskeletal disorders and injuries of the upper and lower extremities: A systematic review by the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury management (OPTIMa) collaboration. Manual Therapy.
Qaseem, A., Wilt, T.J., McLean, R.M., Forciea, M.A. (2017). Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians.. Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med.
Randhawa, K., Bohay, R., Côté, P., Velde, G., Sutton, D., Wong, J., . . . Taylor-Vaisey, A. (2016). The Effectiveness of Non-invasive Interventions for Temporomandibular Disorders. The Clinical Journal of Pain.
Wong, J., Côté, P., Sutton, D., Randhawa, K., Yu, H., Varatharajan, S., . . . Taylor-Vaisey, A. (2017). Clinical practice guidelines for the noninvasive management of low back pain: A systematic review by the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) Collaboration. European Journal of Pain.