How often should you get massage? (if you have chronic neck pain)
I’m going to be very honest with you. The answer to the question of how often you should get massage (generally) depends. And it depends on a lot of different things, including your pain level, goals, ability to afford massage treatment, scheduling, etc. But I know you’re here for a better answer than that, so let me break down a research study that looked at massage “dosing” (the number of times one should get massage) for people with chronic, nonspecific neck pain. Neck pain sufferers, this is for you!
Let me get straight to the conclusions: the study found that adults who received two or three 60 minute massages PER week for 4 weeks straight, experienced significantly less pain and better neck function as compared to the other groups.
Yup, you read that right. Four weeks of 2-3, 60-minute sessions helped chronic neck pain sufferers more than any other dosage. Unfortunately, researchers didn’t conduct any type of long term follow-up so it’s hard to make a recommendation outside the four week parameter. One thing that I can say is that only a very small portion of study participants reported no neck pain at the study’s conclusion. Based on that, it seems like frequent sixty minute massage sessions helped to manage pain but didn’t eliminate it.
And that’s great news - massage can help you manage your chronic neck pain!
Since all research is imperfect, I’m left with questions - for instance, do the number of days between massage session matter? The study didn’t look into that. What about type of massage? This study allowed its massage therapists freedom to use their usual techniques which is actually pretty cool because it replicates real life (the protocol did limit how long they could spend treating a specific area though).
If you’re seeking massage for neck pain relief, here are my recommendations:
If you’ve got chronic neck pain that doesn’t have a defined cause, make sure you book 60 minute sessions. If you can afford two or three sessions weekly for a month, try it out! See if it works for you. If the thought of that much money adds to the pain in your neck, schedule 60 minutes once a week for a month.
The study also showed neck pain improvements with two thirty minute weekly sessions for four weeks. Again, this might be a more palatable option. Strangely enough, three thirty minute sessions did not significantly help study participants!
This particular study didn’t look at 90 minute massage sessions (another limitation) but it’s usually more affordable to get a 90 minute session and this length allows your massage therapist (hopefully me!) a lot of time to work for your benefit.
Remember that this was 1 study - and forgive me for sounding like a prescription drug commercial - results may not be typical. However, if nothing else has helped your neck pain, why not try it out? Massage therapy rarely causes negative side effects and it's generally considered a safe treatment option for most people. The magic treatment formula for you might just include massage therapy!
Readers: if you’re interested in reducing your neck pain and committed to feeling better, I’m offering a special:
Two 60-minute massage sessions per week for 4 consecutive weeks designed to address your neck pain for $396. At my regular price, this would cost you $720 which is a 45% savings!
Two 30-minute massage sessions per week for 4 consecutive weeks designed to address your neck pain for $220. At my regular price, this would cost you $400 which is a 45% savings!
You must be an adult (18+) with chronic neck pain not due to a vertebral fracture, cancer, pinched nerve or a recent (within the past month) accident or trauma.
You must be able to come to my office at West Hartford Chiropractic located at 345 North Main Street, Suite 322 at least twice a week for 4 consecutive weeks.
You must be able to schedule at least two weeks of appointments in advance.
What you need to do:
Contact me to purchase your package.
Schedule your first appointment and, if you’re a new client, fill out some forms online.
Show up for your session, enjoy the treatment, and schedule your follow-ups.
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