Chronic low back pain is a common and major health issue, with a high rate of chronic low back pain (CLBP) in older adults. This pain has an impact on functioning, health-related quality of life and the cost of healthcare. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies have been employed to manage low back pain, with massage the most popular CAM therapy for this purpose. Swedish massage (SM) and Traditional Thai massage (TTM) appear to relieve lower back pain but their relative effectiveness has not been clearly established. In this study, an essential oil was used to prolong the effects of Swedish massage. Ginger is one of the most popular herbal remedies as it is used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic for musculoskeletal pain. However, no study has examined the use of aromatic ginger oil to treat CLBP, and there are also a number of limitations in the research design of reported massage and/or aromatic ginger oil studies. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of Swedish massage with aromatic ginger oil (SMGO) in treating CLBP in older adults compared to TTM in terms of reduction of CLBP intensity, disability improvement, reduction of depression and improvement of quality of life among a group of 140 older people in Thailand experiencing CLBP.
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