HYPOTHESIS: There is an optimal dose of massage that will benefit patients with neck pain.
METHODS: 228 individuals with chronic nonspecific neck pain were randomized into 5 groups receiving various doses of massage over a 4 week time frame: 30-minute visits 2 or 3 times weekly or 60-minute visits 1, 2, or 3 times weekly. There also was a single control group (a 4-week period on a wait list).
RESULTS: 30-minute treatments were not significantly better than placebo. 60-minute treatments 2 and 3 times weekly significantly increased the likelihood of improvement in terms of both neck dysfunction and pain intensity.
CONCLUSIONS: multiple 60-minute massages per week decreases neck dysfunction and pain intensity. 30 minute sessions are no more effective than placebo.
Ann Fam Med. 2014 Mar-Apr;12(2):112-20