A recent study shows that therapeutic massage improves neck range of motion. 60 patients treated for neck pain received physiotherapy and kinesiotherapy. Half of the patients also received massage therapy. Both groups experienced pain reduction and improved function, but patients who received massage experienced greater mobility, demonstrating “a statistically significant improvement in the range of flexion, lateral bend to the right and lateral bend to the left.”
In short: massage can help you move your neck.
Past studies have demonstrated the usefulness of massage in treating chronic neck pain, confirming what massage therapists and anyone who’s ever instinctively kneaded their own neck or sought touch for headaches, neck pain, TMJ, and a myriad of other conditions, have known for centuries.
This is excellent news in these times of hunching over computers, carrying heavy purses or small children, and awkwardly balancing slippery cell phones between ear and shoulder. Neck pain just might be the most common complaint that I see as a massage therapist (when put under the umbrella of neck-and-shoulder pain, it handily tops the list, with heavy computer use the most common culprit), and it is a complaint that I love to address.
In my own experience as a massage therapist, I have seen clients experience great changes solely through releasing the neck. This is surely not the last you will hear from me regarding the neck. It is an area that I am passionate about, and I am always happy to see studies supporting the value of this work.