Effects of traditional Thai massage versus joint mobilization on substance P and pain perception in patients with non-specific low back pain

Surussawadi Mackawan, Wichi Eungpinichpong, Rungthip Pantumethakul, Uraiwon Chatchawan, Tokamol Hunsawong and Pricha Arayawichanon

The purpose of this study was to examine the immediate effects of Traditional Thai Massage (TTM) versus joint mobilization on substance P and pain perception in patients with non-specific low back pain. Sixty-seven adults with non-specific low back pain were randomly assigned to receive either TTM (35 people) or joint mobilization (32 people). The duration of each treatment was 10 min. The levels of substance P in saliva and a visual analog scale (VAS) were measured before and 5 min after each treatment.  Both groups showed a decrease in the level of substance P a and a marked decrease in VAS after treatment when compared with levels pre-treatment. There was no significant difference in the substance P level after treatment between the two groups. However, the TTM group reported less pain than the joint mobilization group after treatment.  The authors conclude that both TTM and joint mobilization can relieve pain in patients with non-specific low back pain. However, TTM yields slightly more beneficial effects than joint mobilization.

Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, Volume 11, Issue 1, January 2007, Pages 9-16

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