Easing Neck Pain

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Story Updated: Mar 12, 2014

Chronic neck pain sufferers take heart: experts say that massage therapy can, in fact, offer notable relief and improve function... but only if provided in sufficient amounts. In the Annals of Family Medicine, investigators note that neck pain is now America's 8th most common cause of disability. And after chiropractic treatment, massage therapy is the #2 complementary and alternative method for alleviating discomfort.

Yet following a 4-week analysis involving 228 neck pain patients-the researchers concluded that the benefit of massage goes up dramatically the more it's applied. Patients were divided into 5 groups. Some received massages for as little as 30-minutes a session, 2 times weekly while others got hands-on therapy for as much as 60-minutes a pop, 3 times a week.

Unfortunately, those getting the least amount of massage fared little better than neck patients who got no massages at all.

However, those who got two to three hour-long massages a week were up to 3 to 5 times more likely to experience significant neck relief suggesting that when it comes to the pain relief benefits of massage, more is definitely more.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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The UHS Sports Medicine Program specializes in diagnosing and treating orthopedic and sports-related injuries, providing care on an outpatient basis. The program combines the expertise of certified athletic trainers and physical therapists, who work closely with sports medicine physicians on our medical staff to help patients resume their physical activities as soon as possible.