Back Pain

Most of us have experienced back pain at some point in our lives. Research has been carried out and different treatments have been found effective in the treatment of back pain. In a systematic review by Andrea D Furlan in 2008 this is researched in detail:

Low-back pain (LBP) is a major health problem in modern society. 70% to 85% of the population will experience LBP at some time in their lives (Andersson 1999). Each year, 5% to 10% of the workforce is off work because of their LBP, the majority for less than seven days. Almost 90% of all patients with acute LBP get better quite rapidly, regardless of therapy. The remaining 10% are at risk of developing chronic pain and disability, and account for more than 90% of social costs for back incapacity” (Waddell 1998).

When experiencing pain or discomfort, the natural reaction is to rub or hold the affected area to reduce the sensation. At its most basic, massage is a simple way of easing pain, while at the same time aiding relaxation, promoting a feeling of well-being and a sense of receiving good care. Soft-tissue massage is thought to improve physiological and clinical outcomes by offering the symptomatic relief of pain through physical and mental relaxation, and increasing the pain threshold through the release of endorphins” (Ernst 1999).

In A Review of the evidence for the effectiveness of back pain treatments by Cherkin et al. in 2003, studies have found massage to be effective for persistent back pain. Other studies have come to similar conclusions:

A combination of massage plus another intervention (exercise, exercise and education, or usual care) was superior to the other intervention alone for short-term pain in patients with subacute to chronic low back pain (Furlan et al. 2008).

Moderate-quality evidence showed that massage improved short-term pain relief and function compared with other interventions (Qaseem et al. 2017).

Patients with sub-acute low-back pain were shown to benefit from massage therapy, as regulated by the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario and delivered by experienced massage therapists (Preyde 2000).

If you are experiencing back pain, please do get in touch with any questions or for some advice on what to do – or 0131 241 1833 or use our booking system to book an appointment.


Furlan, A.D.,Imamura, M.,Dryden, T.and Irvin, E., 2008. Massage for low-back pain. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. October, vol. 8, no. 4.

Andersson, G.B.J., 1999.Epidemiological features of chronic low-back pain.Lancet. August, vol. 354, no. 9178, pp. 581-585.

Waddell, G., 1998.The Back Pain Revolution.Edinburgh: Churchill-Livingstone. [ISBN 0443060398]

Ernst, E., 1999.Massage therapy for low back pain: a systematic review.Journal of Pain Symptom Management. January, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 65-69

Cherkin, D.C.,Sherman, K.J.,Deyo, R.A. and Shekelle, P.G., 2003. A Review of the Evidence for the Effectiveness, Safety, and Cost of Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, and Spinal Manipulation for Back Pain. Annals of Internal Medicine. June, vol. 138, no. 11, pp. 898-906.

Qaseem, A.,Wilt, T.J.,McLean, R.M. and?Forciea, M.A., 2017. Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine. April, vol. 166, no. 7, pp. 514-530.

Preyde, M., 2000. Effectiveness of massage therapy for subacute low-back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Canadian Medical Association Journal. June, vol. 162, no. 13, pp. 1815-1820.