Headaches are a leading cause of pain—and massage therapy helps relieve them.

About 78 percent of Americans experiencing a tension-type headache at some point in their lives, according to the National Headache Foundation.

New research shows the application of a single session of massage produces an immediate decrease in tension, anger status, and perceived pain in patients with chronic tension-type headache, and that the relief from a massage lasts at least one full day.

Researchers from Universidad Granada’s Department of Physical Therapy, in Spain, tested massage on 11 patients; eight females and three males, between the ages of 20 and 68 years old. Patients received either the experimental treatment (massage protocol) or a placebo intervention (detuned ultrasound).

Pairwise comparisons showed that head pain (numerical pain rating scale) decreased 24 hours after manual therapy, but not after the placebo intervention, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov

The research ran in a September issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.


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