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50 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j u l y / a u g u s t 2 0 1 7 education SOMATIC RESEARCH Massage Therapy for the Treatment of Complex Neck Pain By Jerrilyn Cambron, DC, PhD Approximately two-thirds of the US population will experience neck pain at some point in their lives. The majority of pain is nonspecific and most likely involves a postural or mechanical cause. However, some neck pain becomes more complex, progressing to cervical radiculopathy or degenerative disc disease. Complex neck pain may be difficult to treat, but there is some evidence that massage therapy may be of benefit. CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY Cervical radiculopathy is one neck disorder for which massage has been studied. In a recent review article, researchers scanned seven different electronic databases for manuscripts and conference proceedings on Chinese massage for cervical radiculopathy. 1 Articles were included if they were clinical trials, included subjects with a clinical diagnosis of cervical radiculopathy in accordance with the criteria of the North American Spine Society, and included a specific form of Chinese massage called tui na. Tui na was defined as "the finger, hand, elbow, knee, or foot applied to muscle or soft tissue surrounding the neck." The results of these treatments were benefical, including an increase in pain-free cervical ROM and a decrease in the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

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