Summary Objectives: To investigate the effects of Swedish massage with aromatic ginger oil (SMGO) on chronic low back pain and disability in older adults compared with traditiol Thai massage (TTM). Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Massage clinic in Ratchaburi province, Thailand. Participants: 164 patients were screened; 140 were eligible, and randomized to either SMGO (n = 70) or TTM (n = 70). Intervention: Trained staff provided participants with a 30-min SMGO or TTM twice a week for five weeks. Measurement: The Visual Alogue Scale (VAS) assessed immediate effect (after each massage) and the short form McGill Pain Questionire (MPQ) assessed effectiveness of massage in short-term (six weeks) and long-term (15 weeks). Disability improvement was measured by the Owestry Disability Questionire (ODQ) at baseline, short- and long-term. Results: Both SMGO and TTM led to significant improvements in pain intensity (p < 0.05) and disability (p < 0.05) across the period of assessments, indicating immediate, short- and longterm effectiveness. SMGO was more effective than TTM in reducing pain (p = 0.04) and improving disability at short- and long-term assessments (p = 0.04).
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