Massage Therapy Plus Topical Analgesic Is Highly Effective on Reducing Hand Arthritis Pain, Announced Performance Health

A recent study comparing the effectiveness of massage therapy plus topical analgesic and a massage-therapy-only treatment showed that the addition of the topical analgesic provided greater improvement in grip strength and a greater decrease in hand pain, depressed mood, and sleep disturbances.

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As both massage therapy and Biofreeze Pain Reliever have shown promise in the relief of pain associated with arthritis, we were not surprised by the outcomes from this latest study.

Akron, OH (PRWEB) February 06, 2014

Numerous studies support the effectiveness of massage therapy for pain syndromes including migraine headaches, lower back pain, fibromyalgia and arthritis pain(1). In a 2007 study(2), massage therapy was noted to reduce pain and enhance function for those specifically suffering with hand arthritis. The purpose of this most recent study(3), conducted by Tiffany Field, PhD and her team at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School, was to determine whether applying Biofreeze® topical analgesic following massage might be more effective than massage alone in treating hand arthritis pain. Their study was just published ahead of print in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. It showed that the addition of the topical analgesic provided greater improvement in grip strength and a greater decrease in hand pain, depressed mood and sleep disturbances.

“As both massage therapy and Biofreeze Pain Reliever have shown promise in the relief of pain associated with arthritis, we were not surprised by the outcomes from this latest study,” stated Lynda Solien-Wolfe, LMT, Vice President, Massage and Spa, Performance Health. “Once again, the Touch Research Institute has validated the effectiveness of a low cost, non-pharmaceutical course of treatment that so many individuals are looking for today.”

In this study, 20 females with hand arthritis were randomly assigned to either a hand massage-only group or a group that received the same hand massage and a post-massage application of Biofreeze Pain Reliever gel. The study participants had an average age of 47.6 years. Both groups received a 15-minute moderate pressure massage each week for four weeks. In addition, all participants were taught the massage techniques and performed daily hand massages at home. The Biofreeze group had the topical analgesic applied at the conclusion of each massage session, both in clinic and home.

Each study group was assessed for their pain, grip strength, mood and sleep disturbances before and after the four-week intervention. Both groups significantly improved in their outcome measures. However, the massage-plus-analgesic group showed greater improvement when the two groups were compared on the changes from the first to the last day of treatment. Dr. Field emphasizes the importance of self-massage by saying, “Getting a massage every week has significant benefits for those with arthritic pain, but self-massage followed by Biofreeze Pain Reliever on the days between can be even more effective."

It’s important to note that this study did not include a control group, thus limiting conclusions on cause-and-effect. Nonetheless, the authors concluded, “The current study suggests that the combination of moderate pressure massage administered by the therapist and by the participants and the application of topical analgesic following the massage may be a more effective therapy for increasing grip strength and reducing pain and the associated depressed mood and sleep disturbances in individuals with hand arthritis.”

About The Touch Research Institute
The Touch Research Institute was formally established in 1992 by Director Tiffany Field, PhD at the University of Miami School of Medicine with a start-up grant from Johnson & Johnson. The TRI was the first center in the world devoted solely to the study of touch and its application in science and medicine. The TRI distinguished team of researchers, representing Duke, Harvard, Maryland and other universities, strive to better define touch as it promotes health and contributes to the treatment of disease. Research efforts that began in 1982 and continue today have shown that touch therapy has numerous beneficial effects on health and well-being.

About the Academy
The TheraBandTM Academy was formed to scientifically document the benefits of resistance exercise and pain relief, guide the company in its development of new products and exercise programs, and to promote therapeutic exercise and pain management through professional and consumer education. The Academy web site is a unique resource that connects healthcare professionals and consumers to the ever growing body of knowledge on exercise. Registration is free and provides access to the largest database of rehab exercises, protocols, research and education in the world.

About Performance Health
Featuring leading brands like Biofreeze®, Bon Vital'®, TheraBand™, Cramer®, Prossage® and Pedigenix®, Performance Health offers a broad portfolio of products for the therapy, rehabilitation, wellness, massage, sports medicine, performance and podiatric markets. In addition to market-leading products, Performance Health provides practice building support, evidence-based protocols, clinical and product education, turn-key dispensing and pain management solutions.

1. Lawle and Cameron, 2006; Hsieh et al., 2004; Kalichman, 2010; Field, et al., 2103
2. Field et al., 2007
3. REFERENCE: Field T, et al. 2014. Massage therapy plus topical analgesic is more effective than massage alone for hand arthritis pain. Article in press. J Bodywork Movement Therapies.


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