Massage Therapy: Neck Pain
This systematic review evaluated the evidences supporting the effectiveness of massage therapy for neck pain; 15 RCTs were included.
Conclusions #1: Massage therapy is effective for relieving neck pain in the short term
Conclusions #2: Massage therapy has not yet been shown to improve neck dysfunctions (e.g. ROM)
So what can we learn from all these studies?
Massage therapy is a great adjunct to other physiotherapy interventions but perhaps for better long term recovery, it should not be used alone.
I have personally found cupping to be the fastest method of reducing myofascial related neck pain. Sorry only anecdotal evidence thus far. Read my article on Tissue Distraction Release on aptei.ca
Reference: Cheng YH et al Efficacy of massage therapy on pain and dysfunction in patients with neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:204360.