Background: The literature on massage therapy effects on knee pain suggests that pain was reduced based on self-report, but little is known about range of motion (ROM) effects.
Methods: Medical School staff and faculty who had knee arthritis pain were randomly assigned to a moderate pressure massage therapy or a waitlist control group (24 per group). Self-reports included the WOMAC (pain, stiffness and function) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. ROM and ROM-related pain were assessed before and after the last sessions.
Results: The massage group showed an immediate post-massage increase in ROM and a decrease in ROM-associated pain. On the last versus the first day of the study, the massage group showed greater increases in ROM and decreases in ROM-related pain as well as less self-reported pain and sleep disturbances than the waitlist control group.
Discussion: These data highlight the effectiveness of moderate pressure massage therapy for increasing ROM and lessening ROM-related pain and long-term pain and sleep disturbances.
Keywords: Knee arthritis pain; Moderate pressure massage.
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