Do we really need reasons to go for a relaxing massage after a hectic long week?
Well, apart from the calming effect it can have on one’s body and mind, a recent study has found that massages can be an effective treatment for patients suffering from arthritis in their knees.
The findings become significant considering the limited effectiveness and potentially adverse side effects of the current treatment options.
According to a report in Medican Xpress, lead author Adam Perlman, M.D., program director of the Leadership Program in Integrative Healthcare at Duke University School of Medicine, said, Medications are available, but many patients experience adverse side effects, raising the need for alternatives. This study demonstrates that massage has potential to be one such option.
The study involved around 200 patients suffering from osteoarthritis in their knees, who were randomly divided into three groups: those who received a one-hour, weekly Swedish massage for eight weeks; those who received a light-touch control treatment; and those who received no extra care other than their usual regimen.
After eight weeks, each of the groups were again allotted to any of the three categories for the remaining of the study which spanned 52 weeks.
The patients were made to answer a questionnaire on their pain, stiffness and functional limitations (how they climbed stairs, stand up, lie down, walk etc.) every two months.
Efficacy of symptom relief and safety of weekly massage make it an attractive short-term treatment option for knee osteoarthritis. Longer-term biweekly dose maintained improvement, but did not provide additional benefit beyond usual care post eight-week treatment.
Perlman added, “Massage therapy is one of the most popular complementary medicine interventions. At a time when people are looking for effective non-medication options for pain, this study provides further evidence that massage has a potential role, at least for those suffering with osteoarthritis.”