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Volume X: Massage and Chiropractic?


Volume X
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Massage and Chiropractic?
By Rob Leach, DC, MS, CHES, FICC(h)

Dear Patients & Friends:

A recent review of research reveals that in both the U.S. and around the world there is growing acceptance and use of complementary and alternative medicine, and that chiropractic, herbal medicine and massage are the most widely used approaches.

Writing in the Spring 2012 issue of Ochsner Journal, Michael Frass, M.D. and co-workers determined that aside from prayer, chiropractic was the most utilized form of CAM, followed by herbal medicine, massage and homeopathy.

Indeed, in various studies chiropractic utilization ranged from 4 to 11% in the U.S., and elsewhere around the world from 0.5 to 16.7% of the population.

Similarly, massage therapy utilization ranged from 2 to 11.1% in the U.S., and elsewhere around the world from 1.4 to 18.2% of the population.

But do these treatments work, and when they are combined can patients get even better results? For at least some, chronic pain problems such as Fibromyalgia Syndrome, research indicates that Chiropractic and massage may help.

Scientists are only now beginning to discover how chiropractic and massage may work. Animal studies offer us some insight. For example, seven spinal sites were checked in 38 horses without back pain and there was highly significant improvement in pain thresholds after chiropractic (27%), massage (12%) and use of a non-steroidal drug (8%), but not after control procedures were applied (-1%) to the areas.

While the idea of horses receiving chiropractic may sound new, in humans patient satisfaction with chiropractic remains high in nearly all studies, suggesting that whether you're a horse or human, if you get a massage or chiropractic and you feel better, the results may not all be in your head - but in your body as well.

Further Reading:

  1. To read the research performed by Dr. Frass and his colleagues regarding use of complementary and alternative medicine around the world:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22438782
  2. To read about a review of randomized tirals of chiropractic and massage for fibromyalgia:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21875523
  3. To read about higher mechanical nociceptive (pain) thresholds in muscles after chiropractic, massage and phenylbutazone but not after control or active treatment in horses:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18083655
  4. For a review of studies that document increased patient satisfaction with chiropractic care:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16523145

Recommended links:

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