Arthritic conditions and diseases that cause chronic pain in the muscles and joints are often said to worsen in damp, cold, unsettled weather. What’s the science behind this?
‘The conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence about the care of individual patients’
Sackett et al (1997)
Massage techniques have been developed and passed on as part of an oral tradition for millennia. But it is only in the last few decades that research, using sophisticated methods of scientific analysis, has been used to test this collective wisdom.
Recent research suggests that massage is beneficial in reducing inflammation.
In summary, when administered to skeletal muscle that has been acutely damaged through exercise, massage therapy appears to be clinically beneficial by reducing inflammation and promoting mitochondrial bio-genesis.
Evidence based practice requires healthcare providers to include research inquiry and evidence into their clinical work. The research is proving to be exciting but tends to be overblown and overstated in the press. As the profession moves towards an evidence based approach it is important that therapists distinguish between stronger and weaker levels of evidence and interpret them correctly.