METHODS: A non-blinded, randomised controlled trial will be conducted. A total of sixty-six patients who fulfil the inclusion criteria will be recruited. The participants will be randomly allocated into intervention (traditional Malay massage) and control (relaxation position) groups. Blood and saliva samples will be collected before and immediately after intervention. All collected samples will be analysed. The primary outcomes are the changes in the level of substance P in both saliva and blood samples between both groups. The secondary outcomes include the levels of inflammatory mediators [i.e. TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-8, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, IL-6 and IL-10, and the soluble form of the intercellular adhesion molecule], the pain intensity as measured by a visual analogous scale and functional outcomes using the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire.
DISCUSSION: Massage is a type of physical therapy that has been proven to be potentially capable of reducing unpleasant pain sensations by a complex sensory response and chemical mediators such as substance P and various inflammatory mediators. Previous studies conducted using Thai, Swedish, or other forms of massage therapies, have showed inconsistent findings on substance P levels pre and post the interventions. Each massage genre varies in terms of massage and joint mobilization points, as well as the lumbar spinous process. Traditional Malay massage, known locally as "Urut Melayu", involves soft-tissue manipulation of the whole body applied using the hands and fingers. This massage technique combines both deep muscular tissue massage and spiritual rituals. This trial is expected to give rise to new knowledge underlying the mechanisms for pain and inflammation relief that are activated by traditional Malay massage.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials ACTRN12615000537550 .
OBJECTIVE: This 12-week pilot study examines the efficacy of applying low frequency sound wave stimulation (between 16-160 Hz) through both hands and feet on relieving pain and improving functional ability in patients with chronic back pain.
METHODS: Twenty-three participants with chronic shoulder (eleven participants) or low back pain (twelve participants) underwent a 12-week vibration therapy program of three sessions per week. A low frequency sound wave device comprising four piezoelectric vibration-type tactile tranducers enclosed in separate 5-cm diameter circular plates, which generate sinusoidal vibratory stimuli at a frequency of 16-160 Hz, was used in this study. Primary outcome measure was pain sensation measured using the Visual Analogue Scale (P-VAS). The secondary outcome measures were pain-related disability measured using the pain disability index (PDI) and quality of life measured using the SF-12.
RESULTS: At week 12, significant reductions in pain sensation and pain-related disability were observed, with mean reductions of 3.5 points in P-VAS and 13.5 points in the PDI scores. Sixty-five percent of the participants had a reduction of at least 3 points on the P-VAS score, while 52% participants showed a decrease of at least 10 points in the PDI score. Significant improvement was observed in the SF-12 physical composite score but not the mental composite score.
CONCLUSIONS: The preliminary findings showed that passive application of low frequency sound wave stimulation therapy through both hands and feet was effective in alleviating pain and improving functional ability in patients with chronic back pain.