Massage Therapy Treatment:
Massage therapy is defined as manual manipulation of soft body tissues to enhance a person’s health and well-being. Massage therapy is a common method used to reduce pain and relieve muscle tension. A systematic review is a type of literature review that collect and critically analyze multiple research studies or papers. A 2015 systematic review by Bervoets, et. al looked at the efficacy of massage therapy for treating chronic pain in 26 randomized trials of 2,565 participants. Researchers found that massage therapy alone was more effective in reducing pain and improving function in comparison to no treatment at all; however, massage therapy was not as effective in reducing pain and improving some musculoskeletal conditions in comparison to other active treatments.6
A systematic review by Chou, et. al analyzed 9 trials that researched massage therapy. Most trials saw no difference in reported pain and function after massage therapy.7 Most trials saw increased efficacy of massage therapy on short-term pain, but not long-term. These results faded over time.
While massage therapy may not be effective in long-term pain relief, studies have shown that ASTR treatment provides patients with short-term and long-term pain relief. ASTR stands for Advanced Soft Tissue Release, a manual therapy specialty developed by Dr. Joesph Jacobs, DPT. ASTR takes a holistic approach to treating the source of soft tissue restriction in a way that is virtually pain-free and highly effective.
6. Bervoets DC, Luijsterburg PA, Alessie JJ, Buijs MJ, Verhagen AP. Massage therapy has short-term benefits for people with common musculoskeletal disorders compared to no treatment: a systematic review. Journal of Physiotherapy. 2015;61(3):106-116. doi:10.1016/j.jphys.2015.05.018.
7. Chou R, Deyo R, Friedly J, et al. Nonpharmacologic Therapies for Low Back Pain. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2017;167(8):493-505. doi:10.7326/l17-0395.