SWEDISH MASSAGE BENEFICIAL IN TREATMENT OF KNEE OA
Swedish massage therapy reduces pain and improves joint flexibility in adults with osteoarthritis of the knee, according to a new study reported in the Dec. 11 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
The 68 study participants with x-rays confirming knee OA diagnosis were randomly assigned to an intervention massage therapy group or control group. The massage therapy group received twice-weekly hour-long massage therapy sessions in the first four weeks and once-weekly sessions in weeks five through eight. The control group received delayed massage during the last eight weeks of the 16-week trial.
The group receiving massage therapy demonstrated significant improvements in the WOMAC scores for pain, stiffness and physical functional disability. No significant changes were observed in the control group during weeks one through eight. During weeks nine through 16, the control group had similar benefits to those receiving the initial massage therapy. “We think that the primary role for massage therapy will be to reduce dependence on pharmacotherapy and to delay any functional decline rather than reverse the disease,” said senior investigator David L. Katz, M.D., director of Yale’s Prevention Research Center.
The authors noted that recent research has suggested benefits from acupuncture and adding massage therapy as an OA health care modality would provide an additional benefit. “So-called ‘alternative’ treatments like massage are most important when conventional treatments are far from ideal. Currently available non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often not well tolerated by older adults with osteoarthritis,” said Katz.
OA is the most common chronic medical condition in the elderly population, affecting as many as 21 million Americans. For more information on TCM treatment modalities for osteoarthritis including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and massage therapy contact Dr. Richard Browne at (305) 595-9500. Acupuncture & Massage College offers a Masters degree program in Oriental Medicine and a Massage Therapy certificate program. For more information about TCM/Massage Therapy education, ask for Joe Calareso.