Journal of Yoga and Physiotherapy
Armstrong K, Durant J, Todorsky W, Dwyer, M
Volume 4 Issue 5 – May 2018
Pain Relieving Benefits of Massage Therapy Compared to Massage Therapy Combined with Microcurrent Point Stimulation
Objectives: Although massage and microcurrent are widely used for chronic pain, there remains considerable controversy as to their therapeutic value for back pain. We aimed to determine the effect size of both massage and microcurrent therapy applied to lower back acupuncture points to assess their impact on chronic pain.
Design: This was cohort analysis of treatment outcomes pre and post massage and pre-post massage combined with microcurrent point stimulation. Two patient sample groups of 49 patients with a history of non-specific chronic pain were studied.
Interventions: Massage therapy alone was applied for 1 hour in the massage sample group. DC Microcurrent Point stimulation (MPS) was applied to a Standardized Acupuncture Protocol prior to massage therapy in the second sample group. Evaluations entailed a baseline VAS (VAS) pain scale assessment, which was repeated after massage and massage combined with MPS. All 49 patients in each sample group received either one (1) Massage Therapy or one (1) Massage and MPS session.
Outcome Measures: The VAS response of a N=49 patient sample with chronic pain applied with Massage Therapy alone reflected a statistically significant reduction of 3.761 points or 66% reduction in mean pain levels post massage treatment, when compared to initial pain levels [95% CI (3.143, 4.379); p=0.000]. There was statistically significant increase in pain of 1.293 points or 66% at the 48 hours follow-up, for a total statistically significant reduction of 2.467 points or 43% reduction in mean at the 48 hours. Massage combined with MPS provided significant reduction of 5.755 points or 75% reduction in mean pain levels post massage treatment, when compared to initial pain levels [95% CI (5.284, 6.226), with a statistically insignificant increase of 0.429 points or 11% increase in mean at the 48 hours follow-up [95% CI (-0.710, -0.147); p=0.004], for a total statistically significant reduction of 5.327 points or 78% reduction in mean at the 48 hours follow-up [95% CI (4.842, 5.811); p=0.000].
Conclusion: The positive results in this study could have applications for massage therapists who treat chronic pain patients.
Keywords: Massage; Microcurrent point stimulation; Chronic pain; Standard protocol