Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 50–59 | Cite as

A randomized, controlled trial of massage therapy as a treatment for migraine

Article

Abstract

Background: Migraine is a distressing disorder that is often triggered by stress and poor sleep. Only one randomized controlled trial (RCT) has assessed the effects of massage therapy on migraine experiences, which yielded some promising findings.Purpose: An RCT was designed to replicate and extend the earlier findings using a larger sample, additional stress-related indicators, and assessments past the final session to identify longer-term effects of massage therapy on stress and migraine experiences.Methods: Migraine sufferers (N = 47) who were randomly assigned to massage or control conditions completed daily assessments of migraine experiences and sleep patterns for 13 weeks. Massage participants attended weekly massage sessions during Weeks 5 to 10. State anxiety, heart rates, and salivary cortisol were assessed before and after the sessions. Perceived stress and coping efficacy were assessed at Weeks 4, 10, and 13.Results: Compared to control participants, massage participants exhibited greater improvements in migraine frequency and sleep quality during the intervention weeks and the 3 follow-up weeks. Trends for beneficial effects of massage therapy on perceived stress and coping efficacy were observed. During sessions, massage induced decreases in state anxiety, heart rate, and cortisol.Conclusions: The findings provide preliminary support for the utility of massage therapy as a nonpharmacologic treatment for individuals suffering from migraines.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. (1).
    Warshaw LJ, Burton WN: Cutting the costs of migraine: Role of the employee health unit.Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 1998,40:943–953.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. (2).
    Lipton RB, Stewart WF, Diamond S, Diamond Ml, Reed M: Prevalence and burden of migraine in the United States: Data from the American migraine study II.Headache. 2001,41:646–657.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. (3).
    Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache Society: Classification and diagnostic criteria for headache disorders, cranial neuralgias and facial pain.Cephalalgia. 1988,8(Suppl. 7):19–28.Google Scholar
  4. (4).
    Headache Classification Subcommittee of the International Headache Society: The international classification of headache disorder, 2nd edition.Cephalalgia. 2004,24(Suppl. 1):24–36.Google Scholar
  5. (5).
    Landy S: Migraine throughout the life cycle: Treatment through the ages.Neurology. 2004,62(5 Suppl. 2):2–8.Google Scholar
  6. (6).
    Magnusson JE, Riess CM, Becker WJ: Effectiveness of a multidisciplinary treatment program for chronic daily headache.The Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences. 2004,31:72–79.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. (7).
    Blanchard EB, Nicholson NL, Taylor AE, et al.: The role of regular home practice in the relaxation treatment of tension headache.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 1991,59:467–470.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. (8).
    Holroyd K, Penzien D, Lipchik G: Behavioral management of headache. In Silberstein SD, Lipton RB, Dalessio DJ (eds),Wolff’s Headache and Other Head Pain. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2001.Google Scholar
  9. (9).
    Hernandez-Reif M, Dieter J, Field T: Migraine headaches are reduced by massage therapy.International Journal of Neuroscience. 1998,96:1–11.Google Scholar
  10. (10).
    Westland G: Massage as a therapeutic tool, Part 1.British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 1993,56:129–134.Google Scholar
  11. (11).
    Field T: Massage therapy effects.American Psychologist. 1998,53:1270–1281.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. (12).
    Moyer CA, Rounds J, Hannum JW: A meta-analysis of massage therapy research.Psychological Bulletin. 2004,130:3–18.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. (13).
    Field T, Diego M, Cullen C, et al.: Fibromyalgia pain and Substance P decrease and sleep improves after massage therapy.Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. 2002,8:72–76.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. (14).
    Hernandez-Reif M, Field T, Hart S: Smoking cravings are reduced by self-massage.Preventive Medicine. 1999,28:28–32.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. (15).
    Ironson G, Field T, Scafidi F, et al.: Massage therapy is associated with enhancement of the immune system’s cytotoxiccapacity.International Journal of Neuroscience. 1996,84:205–217.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. (16).
    Lowe WW:Orthopedic massage. Theory and technique. London: Mosby, 2003.Google Scholar
  17. (17).
    Travell JS:Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual (1st ed.,Vol. 1). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1983.Google Scholar
  18. (18).
    Cheung K, Hume P, Maxwell L: Delayed onset muscle soreness: Treatment strategies and performance factors.Sports Medicine. 2003,33:145–164.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. (19).
    Richards KC: Effect of a back massage and relaxation intervention on sleep in critically ill patients.American Journal of Critical Care. 1998,7:288–299.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. (20).
    Smith MC, Stallings MA, Mariner S, Burrall M: Benefits of massage therapy for hospitalized patients: A descriptive and qualitative evaluation.Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine. 1999,5:64–71.Google Scholar
  21. (21).
    Sunshine W, Field TM, Quintino O, et al.: Fibromyalgia benefits from massage therapy and transcutaneous electrical stimulation.Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. 1996,2:18–22.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. (22).
    MacGregor A: “Menstrual” migraine: Towards a definition.Cephalalgia. 1996,16:11–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. (23).
    Martin VT, Behbehan MM: Toward a rational understanding of migraine trigger factors.Medical Clinics of North America. 2001,85:911–941.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. (24).
    Marteau TM, Bekker H: The development of a six-item shortform of the state scale of the Speilberger state-trait anxiety inventory (STAI).British Journal of Clinical Psychology. 1992,31:301–306.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. (25).
    Materazzo F, Cathcart S, Pritchard D: Anger, depression, and coping interactions in headache activity and adjustment: A controlled study.Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 2000,49:69–75.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. (26).
    Holroyd K, O’Donnell FJ, Stensland M, et al.: Management of chronic tension-type headache with tricyclic antidepressant medication, stress management therapy, and their combination: A randomized controlled trial [Comment].Journal of the American Medical Association. 2001,285:2208–2215.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. (27).
    MacGregor A:Migraine in Women. London: Martin Dunitz Publishers, 1999.Google Scholar
  28. (28).
    Cohen S, Kamarack T, Mermelstein R: A global measure of perceived stress.Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 1983,24:385–396.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. (29).
    Cohen S, Williamson GM: Perceived stress in a probability sample of the United States. In Spacapan A, Oskamp A (eds),The Social Psychology of Health. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 1988.Google Scholar
  30. (30).
    Lawler SP: The expression of stressful experiences through a self-regulation writing task: Moderating effects for depression. Master’s Thesis, University of Auckland: 1999.Google Scholar
  31. (31).
    Field T, Ironson G, Scafidi F, et al.: Massage therapy reduces anxiety and enhances EEG pattern of alertness and math computations.International Journal of Neuroscience. 1996,86:197–205.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. (32).
    Field T, Morrow C, Valdeon C, et al.: Massage reduces anxiety in child and adolescent psychiatric patients.Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 1992,31:124–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. (33).
    Pilcher JJ, Ginter DR, Sadowsky B: Sleep quality versus sleep quantity: Relationships between sleep and measures of health, well-being and sleepiness in college students.Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 1997,42:583–596.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. (34).
    Waeber C, Moskowitz MA: Therapeutic implications of central and peripheral neurologic mechanisms in migraine.Neurology. 2003,61(8 Suppl. 4):9–20.Google Scholar
  35. (35).
    Linde K, Streng A, Jurgens S, et al.: Acupuncture for patients with migraine: A randomized controlled trial.Journal of the American Medical Association. 2005,293:2118–2125.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. (36).
    Holroyd K, Penzien DB: Psychosocial interventions in the management of recurrent headache disorders 1: Overview and effectiveness.Behavioral Medicine. 1994,20:53–64.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cancer Prevention Research CentreThe University of QueenslandHerston Road, HerstonAustralia

Personalised recommendations