Neck pain, also known as cervicalgia, is a common problem, with two-thirds of the population having neck pain at some point in their lives. Neck pain, although felt in the neck, can be caused by numerous other spinal problems.
Massage can relieve neck pain if it’s done often by a professional therapist and for the correct length of time, according to new research.
One-hour sessions two or three times a week appear to be best, said study researcher Karen Sherman, a senior scientific investigator at Group Health Research Institute in Seattle.
Describing any situation as “a pain in the neck” is a sure way of letting people know how bad things are. For many people, that phrase can be taken literally. In fact, the U.S. National Institute of Health Statistics reports that 15% of Americans are troubled by neck pain.
Usually, the pain is caused by something simple, like hunching your shoulders over a keyboard or work surface. Posture can be another factor. Other causes include arthritis, whiplash, a pinched nerve, muscle strain, or degenerative disease. Whether it’s chronic or lasts only a short time, neck pain can be relieved by massage.
For those who want to go the alternative route to treat their back pain, instead of getting surgery, massage may be the best bet. A new study demonstrates that it is superior to both acupuncture and self-care for this frustrating and debilitating condition. Experts agree that often the best way to manage chronic back pain is to use several therapies at once, and therapeutic massage may be an important part of the package. “This provides some scientific evidence that massage may be useful for people with chronic back pain,” investigator Daniel C. Cherkin, Ph.D.