Massages are a great way to relax and relieve tension. But what's the best way of using the treatment to soothe and remove the pains of knee arthritis?
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Health Related Professions is looking for 68 volunteers with knee arthritis willing to participate in a medical study involving Swedish massage, light touch body work and the usual arthritis care at the Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center in Livingston.
Volunteers for the massage study must be at least 35 years old, have an X-ray or MRI scan confirming they have osteoarthritis in the knee and be willing to travel to Livingston for treatment once a week for several weeks, said Carl Milak the UMDNJ research coordinator for the study. The sessions will be administered by licensed Barnabas massage therapists.
The study is being done by the UMDNJ, the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Derby, Conn., and Duke Integrative Medicine Center in Durham, NC. It is being funded by a $2.75 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
The principal investigator of the study is Dr. Adam Perlman, the former director of the Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center and currently the executive director of the Duke Integrative Medical Center.
This is the UMDNJ's third time researching the effect of massage on knee arthritis.
A 2004 pilot study done by UMDNJ at the Barnabas health center and the Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center showed Swedish massage worked in treating knee arthritis and a 2009 study showed the optimal amount of treatment was once a week for an hour, Milak said.
This latest study will compare the Swedish massage efficiency to light touch body work and the usual arthrtis care, Milak said.
Dr. Gwen Mahon, a UMDNJ associate professor and co-principal investigator for the study, said the researchers are excited about the opportunity to impact the lives of the thousands of Americans who suffer from osteoarthrtitis.
The study will also include a cost-effectiveness analysis, which will look at the cost of massage treatments compared to other forms of treatment and see if Medicare and other health insurance policies can cover the cost, Mahon said.
"We hope, with this study, to nail down the dose," Mahon said. "We hope this is a method that can change the lives of people suffering from knee arthritis."
Recruitment for the massage study will start in March. For more information, contact Carl Milak, research coordinator, at (973) 972-8564 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Mary Carola, research assistant, at (973) 972-3449 or email@example.com.