Neck pain could be caused by sleeping in an awkward position, having bad posture, or by using a computer for too long.
A new study evaluating a form of Chinese massage, tuina, in patients with chronic neck pain found it to be effective, safe, and cost-effective compared to no treatment. The study, which assessed intensity of neck pain, disability, health-related quality of life, medication use, and cost, is published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM).
Patients receiving massage treatment reported a greater reduction in neck pain, compared with those that didn’t get any treatment for their pain.
Six sessions of tuina, over a period of three weeks, is enough to reduce neck pain, the scientists revealed.
Researcher Dr Claudia Witt said the results were “promising, and call for further research on tuina”.
Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine – where the study was published – John Weeks, added: “The value found for tuina in this study has an additional implication.
“Inclusion in payment and delivery programs of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners who are trained in tuina may offer a one-two punch – acupuncture needles and Chinese massage – in efforts to shift to cost-effective, non-pharmacologic, approaches for chronic pain treatment.”
Tuina is applied to patients who are sitting down, or lying on a sofa.
The massage involved manipulating the soft tissue and backbone, using mainly stroking, kneading, and drumming techniques.
It is a very rigorous massage, as every techniques requires movement and pressure, according to the Body Harmonics Clinic.
Some patients report feeling light-headed after sessions, while others feel supercharged, it added.