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Researchers verify safety and effectiveness of back massage for pregnant women

Friday, June 08, 2012 07:14 AM    Views : 1544by:Richmond Acosta

Traditionally, back massage is given to any person who complains of muscle pain. Even pregnant women are known to seek out massage therapists to soothe the back pain that commonly plague them.

Researchers at the Angeles University Foundation Medical Center (AUFMC) looked for evidence of the safety and effectiveness of back massage in reducing back pain for pregnant women in the research entitled, Maternal and Fetal Effects of a Back Massage in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy.

The researchers, Dr. Gina G. Masangcay and Dr. Eileen Co-Sy, shared that back pain is caused by the stress on muscles and joints when women lean further backward to maintain their balance during pregnancy. They explained, "Back pain is brought about when the center of gravity is gradually shifted forward due to the growing abdomen. Thus, this causes the lumbar curvature to increase, affecting the muscles and joints."

The study was conducted to 100 women in their third trimester of pregnancy. Non-stress tests (NST) were done before and after the application of back massage to monitor changes in the uterine contraction, fetal heart rate and movement. Questionnaires were given to the mothers to assess their back pain before and after the therapy.

Results of the study showed that back massage increases fetal movement but does not affect the fetal heart rate and uterine contraction suggesting its safety for the fetus. In terms of the back pain experienced by the mothers, all the pregnant women responded positively on the questionnaire.

The researchers concluded that back massage is a safe and effective method in reducing back pain during pregnancy. The researchers said, "Back massage therapy reduce levels of back pain in pregnant women and has no adverse effect on fetal wellbeing."


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