Massage Providing Short-Term Improvement of Knee Osteoarthritis Symptoms

October 22, 2019   |   Evidence in Integrative Healthcare

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH), reported a December 2018 randomized clinical trial of eight weekly treatments (lasting 60 minutes each), then randomly assigned 60 minute-massage every two weeks up to 52 weeks was compared with ‘usual’ treatment. Researchers found that eight weeks of massage provided statistically and clinically significant improvement of osteoarthritis symptoms. Pain, stiffness, and physical function all improved. Side effects were minimal. Integrative care providers treating patients with knee osteoarthritis who may be intolerant to NSAIDS or to avoid opioid use should consider referral to Licensed Massage Therapists with this patient population. This study was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine on December 12, 2018.