Millions of Americans suffer from persistent pain including the neck, back, and head that can disrupt quality of life, sleep, and work. Each year, over $600 billion dollars are spent on treatment and lost wages for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. However, there is hope that current therapies, such as heat therapy and massage, can help provide relief from chronic pain.
Does massage relieve neck pain?
Findings published in the Annals of Family Medicine indicate that regular massage can be used to mitigate the effects of chronic or acute neck pain. A study of 228 patients over a 4-week period assessed the value of massage for pain relief and found that repeated treatments could alleviate neck aches. It was noted, however, that patients who received short treatments (30 minutes) twice a week did not fare as well as those who received 3 sessions a week for 60 minutes each. Those who received more intense treatments were 3-5 times more likely to report feelings of neck pain relief.
Does heat/cold relieve neck pain?
Studies from the National Institutes of Health also indicate that neck pain relief can be achieved through the application of hot or cold compresses for 30 minutes. In controlled, randomized trials, patients with neck strains were provided with 30 minute heading pad or cold pack treatments. Over 50% of these patients reported feeling relief following topical heat
or cold therapy similar to that achieved by NSAID pain relievers.