Neck pain could be caused by sleeping in an awkward position, having bad posture, or by using a computer for too long.
But tuina – a Chinese massage technique – is an effective, safe and reasonably priced alternative treatment to ease neck pain, claimed scientists from the US and Germany.
Patients receiving massage treatment reported a greater reduction in neck pain, compared with those that didn’t get any treatment for their pain.
Six sessions of tuina, over a period of three weeks, is enough to reduce neck pain, the scientists revealed.
Researcher Dr Claudia Witt said the results were “promising, and call for further research on tuina”.
Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine – where the study was published – John Weeks, added: “The value found for tuina in this study has an additional implication.
“Inclusion in payment and delivery programs of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners who are trained in tuina may offer a one-two punch – acupuncture needles and Chinese massage – in efforts to shift to cost-effective, non-pharmacologic, approaches for chronic pain treatment.”
Tuina is applied to patients who are sitting down, or lying on a sofa.
The massage involved manipulating the soft tissue and backbone, using mainly stroking, kneading, and drumming techniques.
It is a very rigorous massage, as every techniques requires movement and pressure, according to the Body Harmonics Clinic.
Some patients report feeling light-headed after sessions, while others feel supercharged, it added.
Neck pain could be eased with regular doses of paracetamol, ibuprofen, or a combination of the two, according to the NHS.
Holding a hot water bottle or heat pack to the neck could reduce pain and muscle spasms, it added.
Checking your posture, and sleeping on a low, firm pillow at night could also help patients manage neck pain at home.
Staying active could help neck pain to disappear faster than simply staying in bed, according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.