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Massage for Neck Pain

Can Massage Help Neck Pain?

Researchers have found conflicting results on whether massage therapy can help chronic neck pain. Some studies have found that massage therapy reduces chronic neck pain. However, other studies show that massage is no more effective than other forms of treatment, even advice!

massage for neck painIf you’ve discussed it with your doctor and have decided to try massage as part of your treatment for chronic neck pain you may have many questions. What kind of massage? How long should the treatment sessions be? How often should you go? Let’s dive into the specifics.

What Type of Massage is Best For Neck Pain?

There are many types of massage practiced in the United States. Each type focuses on a specific activity, motion, philosophy, or body part. Most massage therapists are trained in multiple modalities (massage types) and will recommend one or a combination of them based on your needs. Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and myofascial release are commonly used for neck pain.

Swedish Massage is commonly used in the US. During a swedish massage the therapist will often use long, steady strokes, in the direction of blood flow to the heart. They may also combine these movements with kneading or friction motions.

Deep Tissue Massage the therapist uses deeper strokes to target deeper layers of muscles and tissue. As opposed to swedish massage, with deep tissue massage the therapist often focuses their work on a specific area experiencing pain.

Myofascial Release is a type of massage therapy focused on affecting the fascia, an interconnected web of tissue running in and around our organs, muscles, and bones. Depending on the therapist, myofascial release may be used in combination with another type of massage therapy, such as deep tissue massage. You can also do a myofascial release massage at home with a tennis ball.

How Often Should You Get Massage for Neck Pain?

Several 60-minute sessions of massage per week is ideal. Individuals who undergo shorter massage sessions or fewer per week have been shown to not get as significant a benefit from the therapy.


The benefits of massage therapy for chronic neck pain may be different for each individual. If you’re interested in trying out massage, speak with your doctor and develop a plan. Then, you can try it and see if massage helps your condition. Good luck!



*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
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