Lower back pain and sleep disturbance are reduced following massage therapy

Tiffany Field, Maria Hernandez-Reif, Miguel Diego, Monica Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


A randomized between-groups design was used to evaluate massage therapy versus relaxation therapy effects on chronic low back pain. Treatment effects were evaluated for reducing pain, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances, for improving trunk range of motion (ROM) and for reducing job absenteeism and increasing job productivity. Thirty adults (M age=41 years) with low back pain with a duration of at least 6 months participated in the study. The groups did not differ on age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity or gender. Sessions were 30 min long twice a week for 5 weeks. On the first and last day of the 5-week study participants completed questionnaires and were assessed for ROM. By the end of the study, the massage therapy group, as compared to the relaxation group, reported experiencing less pain, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance. They also showed improved trunk and pain flexion performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-145
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Massage
  • Relaxation therapy
  • Sleep disturbance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Health Professions(all)


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