A significant body of evidence, including systematic reviews, supports the effectiveness of massage therapy in the treatment of a range of musculoskeletal presentations.
There are five systematic reviews of massage and low back pain, including a Cochrane Systematic Review in 2008, which was updated in 2009.3
The most recent review, published by the
Ottawa Panel in 2012, concluded that massage interventions provide short-term improvement of sub-acute and chronic low back pain symptoms and decrease disability at immediate post treatment. Massage therapy provides short-term relief when combined with therapeutic exercise and education.4
There are five systematic reviews of neck
and shoulder pain, including a Cochrane Systematic Review in 2012 which concluded that massage therapy provides short-term relief of mechanical neck pain.5 A systematic review published by the Ottawa Panel in 2012 reached a similar conclusion.