Stress relief, pain relief and freedom from anxiety—these effects and more result from regular massage therapy.

New research indicates that chronic pain and anxiety are linked.

In fact, in research published in General Hospital Psychiatry (published by Elsevier), nearly half of primary care patients with chronic pain were found to test positive for one or more anxiety disorders. In turn, those patients’ quality of life is adversely affected.

“Association between anxiety, health-related quality of life and functional impairment in primary care patients with chronic pain” found that 45 percent of patients “screened positive for at least one anxiety disorder and, compared to the 136 screen-negative patients, had significantly worse scores across multiple pain, psychological and other [health-related quality of life] domains,” an abstract on noted.

“Substantial impairment was seen for each of the five screen-positive anxiety conditions and progressively worsened as the number of conditions increased” from one to two to three, the abstract stated.

“Detecting and treating anxiety may be an important component of pain management,” the investigators noted.