A Novel Massage Therapy Technique for Management of Chronic Cervical Pain: A Case Series

William R. Thompson, DPT, PhD, Ronald Carter, LMT, NCBTMB, CPT, Benjamin Rohe, MS, Randall L. Duncan, PhD, Carlton R. Cooper, PhD

Abstract


Background: Neck pain is a generalized condition resulting from a complex etiology with presentation of a wide variety of symptoms. Neck pain is most often accompanied by decreased range of motion (ROM), muscle and joint stiffness, and limitations in functional capabilities. This condition may result in significant personal and societal burden.

Purpose: We evaluated the effectiveness of a novel massage therapy intervention by following the treatment regimen and outcomes of two patients experiencing chronic neck pain.
Participants: Two patients (46 and 53 years old) experienced chronic (>5 years) neck pain. Both patients reported pain, limited ROM, and muscle and joint stiffness. Additionally, the first patient reported a lack of sleep, and both patients stated their pain interfered with their quality of life and activities of daily living.

Intervention: Patients received the Integrative Muscular Movement Technique (IMMT) intervention approximately twice a week for a total of eight treatments, each approximately 20 minutes in duration.

Results: Both patients experienced a reduction in pain and an increase in cervical ROM in flexion, extension, rotation, and sidebending. The first patient also reported an increased ability to sleep. Both patients reported an increased ability to perform activities of daily living, including work-related responsibilities.

Conclusions: For the two patients included in this report, therapist observations and patient reports indicate that inclusion of the IMMT treatment in a treatment regimen for chronic neck pain may lead to decreased pain and increased cervical ROM. These positive effects of the IMMT intervention may have a role in enhancing functional outcomes of these patients.

Keywords


neck pain; massage therapy technique; chronic pain

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3822/ijtmb.v4i3.137

International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
ISSN 1916-257X