A comparison of the effects of deep tissue massage and therapeutic massage on chronic low back pain

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2012:176:411-4.


Introduction: This study compared the effectiveness of two different kind of massage: therapeutic and deep tissue on chronic low back pain.

Methods: The research was made on 26 patient aged from 60 to 75 years who were separated into 2 groups: I [n=13] and II [n=13]. Group I had therapeutic massage [TM] which uses effleurage, petrissage, tapping and friction. Group II had deep tissue massage [DTM] which uses oblique pressure, a combination of lengthening and cross-fiber strokes, anchor and stretch, freeing muscle from entrapment. TM and DTM lasted for 10 days, each 30 min and were made by qualify massage therapist. Both groups did not have other treatment. Outcome measures obtained at baseline and after treatment consisted of Modified Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Index [ODI], Quebec Back Pain Disability Scale[QBPD] and Visual Analog Scale [VAS].

Results: There was not statistically significant differences between groups according to age and BMI. Statistically significant differences were noted after TM in every test [ODI p=0.010; QBPD p<0.001; VAS p<0.001] and after DTM in every test [ODI p<0.001; QBPD p<0.001; VAS p<0.001]. DTM was statistically significant better therapy than TM in ODI [p=0.038] and VAS [p=0.015]. Further research is needed to verify the results.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / diagnosis*
  • Low Back Pain / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Massage / methods*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Treatment Outcome