Pain strength and functional disability decreased considerably among people with chronic nonspecific low back pain after getting either Thai massage treatment or joint mobilization two times per week for four weeks, according to recent study.
The study, "The effectiveness of Thai massage and joint mobilization," involved 120 hospital outpatients with chronic nonspecific low back pain.
In order to be included in the research, subjects had to have low back pain which was intermittent, tolerable and with no particular cause. In addition, the length of the irregular pain needed to be at least fourteen days.
For the intervention phase of the study, subjects were randomly assigned to get either conventional Thai massage therapy or joint mobilization therapy.
The intervention program for the two modalities consisted of two 30-minute sessions each week for four weeks. The professionals who supplied the joint mobilization and Thai massage treatment were licensed physical therapists and massage therapists who worked in the hospital and had more than 10 years of experience.
The study's authors clarify the joint mobilization or spinal manipulation for a blend of “active and passive physiologic back mobilization stretching and strengthening” that included hot pack application, posterior-to-anterior manual pressure focused on the spinous process of the lumber vertebrae, along with a prone press-up exercise.
As for the Thai massage therapy intervention, this consisted of “pressing and mobilizing points on two main energy lines (Ida and Pingala), which run along spinous processes from L2 to L5.”
The researchers report that the Thai massage sessions also included the use of herbal hot packs, together with strengthening and stretching certain muscles.
The primary outcome measures in this research were pain and functional disability, which were measured using a visual analog scale as well as the Owestry Disability Index. Secondary outcome measures contained satisfaction with the intervention experience and the general safety of the intervention.
Results of this study demonstrated a substantial reduction in pain intensity and functional disability among subjects in both the joint mobilization and the Thai massage treatment groups after the four-week intervention period.
Participants in both groups reported satisfaction with the intervention experience without any negative outcomes.
"The traditional Thai massage and joint mobilization used in this study were equally effective for short-term reduction of pain and disability in patients with chronic nonspecific ," conclude the study's authors.