A comparative study to determine the efficacy of two different massage therapy oils in the treatment of chronic active trapezius myofascial trigger points
Background: Myofascial pain is the most common cause of persistent regional pain such as back pain, shoulder pain, tension-type headaches and facial pain. A variety of therapeutic modalities are proposed in the treatment of myofascial pain including massage. A variety of massage oils are available on the market, each claiming therapeutic efficacy. Most of these claims, however, have not been verified through clinical trials. Methods: A double-blinded placebo controlled study in which 80 subjects were randomly divided into 4 groups of twenty. Subjects in Group 1 received unscented mineral oil, those in Group 2 received scented mineral oil. Subjects in Group 4 received Arnica Massage oil while those in Group 4 received Blue Steel Arnica Massage oil. Results and Conclusions: The use of Arnica Massage oil or Blue Steel Arnica Massage oil resulted in almost 50 % pain reduction in the subjects after five days of self-administered treatment. Both these products can be recommended for the treatment of myofascial pain syndromes but one cannot be placed in preference to the other, as the results were similar with regards to their effectiveness.