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Student Case Study: Hypothyroidism

The Effects of Massage Therapy on Chronic Neck Pain, Cervical Hypolordosis, and TSH Levels on a Woman with Hypothyroidism: A Case Study


Background and Participant: A woman with chronic neck pain and hypothyroidism seeks massage therapy after not finding relief through chiropractic. A radiograph taken by a physician reports hypolordosis of the cervical spine. Once a competitive gymnast, the 47 year old female currently teaches dance 2-4 hours per week and is Academic Chair at a city college. Her pain is worse upon sitting at the computer which is approximately 6 hours per day.

Objectives: The purpose of this case report is to determine if structural balancing through postural analysis and massage therapy is an effective form of treatment in decreasing chronic neck pain, hypolordosis and TSH levels.

Methods and Tools: Ten massage therapy treatments were administered two times per week and treatments ranged from one to two hours in length. The focus was to analyze and balance the structure, eliminate trigger points (TrP’s), increase range of motion (ROM) and alleviate pain. A Visual Analog Scale (VAS) was given pre and post-treatments. The Neck Bournemouth Questionnaire and The Neck Pain Disability Index were given at the beginning, middle and end of the report. Tools used included charts, plumb bob and goniometer for evaluating posture and testing ROM. Blood tests for T4 and TSH levels were taken pre and post-report. A rolled hand towel was used to support the cervical lordotic curve during treatments and at home while sleeping.

Results: Pain levels dropped as displayed by the VAS scores and ROM increased. Radiograph images denote an increase in lordotic curve in the cervical spine. TSH levels dropped denoting an increase of thyroid activity.

Conclusion: The use of massage therapy has shown to be an effective form of treatment in one individual with chronic neck pain, hypolordosis and hypothyroid. More research is warranted to further investigate short and long term effects of Massage Therapy in patients presenting these symptoms particularly the long term effects of massage therapy on the thyroid.


Neck pain, massage, cervical hypolordosis, hypothyroid

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