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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:930175. doi: 10.1155/2015/930175. Epub 2015 Sep 15.

A Randomized Controlled Trial on the Effectiveness of Court-Type Traditional Thai Massage versus Amitriptyline in Patients with Chronic Tension-Type Headache.

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College of Public Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.
Research Center in Back, Neck, and Other Joint Pain and Human Performance, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand.
Bamnet Narong Hospital, Amphur Bamnet Narong, Chaiyaphum Province 36160, Thailand.
College of Allied Health Science, Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Bangkok 10300, Thailand.


This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the court-type traditional Thai massage (CTTM) to treat patients with chronic tension-type headaches (CTTHs) comparing with amitriptyline taking. A randomized controlled trial was conducted. Sixty patients diagnosed with CTTH were equally divided into a treatment and a control group. The treatment group received a 45-minute course of CTTM twice per week lasting 4 weeks while the control group was prescribed 25 mg of amitriptyline once a day before bedtime lasting 4 weeks. Outcome measures were evaluated in week 2, week 4 and followed up in week 6 consisting of visual analog scale (VAS), tissue hardness, pressure pain threshold (PPT), and heart rate variability (HRV). The results demonstrated a significant decrease in VAS pain intensity for the CTTM group at different assessment time points while a significant difference occurred in within-group and between-group comparison (P < 0.05) for each evaluated measure. Moreover, the tissue hardness of the CTTM group was significantly lower than the control group at week 4 (P < 0.05). The PPT and HRV of the CTTM group were significantly increased (P < 0.05). CTTM could be an alternative therapy for treatment of patients with CTTHs.

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