Pain is one of the top motivators that brings clients to massage—and studies show that rates of back and neck pain are increasing in the U.S. An article in the May 2009 edition of Consumer Reports magazine details back-pain-relief methods considered helpful by survey participants.

In “Relief for aching backs: Hands-on therapies were top-rated by 14,000 consumers,” the publication noted, “[a]bout 80 percent of U.S. adults have at some point been bothered by back pain … More than half [of respondents] said pain severely limited their daily routine for a week or longer, and 88 percent said it recurred through the year. Many said the pain interfered with sleep, sex, and efforts to maintain a healthy weight.”

The article went on to explain that most respondents turn to hands-on therapies, include massage, physical therapy and chiropractic, to address back pain, and were satisfied with the results of such therapies.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents rated chiropractic as “very helpful” in easing back pain, while 48 percent said massage therapy was very helpful, and 46 percent said the same of physical therapy.

In March, MASSAGE Magazine reported on new research that showed massage is more effective than relaxation alone in reducing low-back pain.