MELT Low Back Pain Study

MELT works!

Well, you already knew that, didn’t you? But isn’t it great to have a scientific study that validates what MELT® can do for chronic pain?

Here are the results from a recent study done at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, including an overview and details on the subjects, methods, testing procedure, outcomes, and future research topics and opportunities. Connect with me to learn MELT and the actual sequences that were used in this study!

At the Fascia Research Congress September 18-20 in Washington, D.C the study was presented to the scientific community.

STUDY OVERVIEW The study was called “Effect of the MELT Method on the Thoracolumbar Connective Tissue,” and the objective was to determine how the thickness of connective tissue and other biomechanical properties of myofascial tissue changed in subjects with chronic low back pain as a result of using the MELT Method®. The study found that participants who did MELT for four weeks had remarkable results, including reduced pain, increased flexibility, and changes in the connective tissue, including decreased thickening. The control group (who did no MELT) showed no significant changes. The results of the study were presented at the 2015 Fascia Research Congress in Washington, DC, in September.

Why is this important?

• The study shows that MELT is effective at relieving chronic low back pain and improving flexibility.

• This is the first clinical trial of MELT and it shows MELT’s effectiveness vs. a control group.

• The study demonstrates the short- and long-term effects of the MELT Method on the connective tissue.

STUDY DETAILS: The research study was conducted in partnership with the New Jersey Institute of Technology and led by a biomechanical engineering grad student, Faria Sanjana, who was advised by Tom Findley, PhD (founder of the Fascia Research Society) and Hans Chaudhry, PhD. Objective: To determine how the thickness of connective tissue and other biomechanical properties of myofascial tissue may change in subjects with chronic low back pain as a result of using the MELT Method



Men and women, ages 25-65 with non-specific, chronic low back pain

• 22 subjects for MELT treatment group

• 22 subjects for control group

Exclusions included having a severe low back injury or surgery, a spinal fracture, a BMI over 28.5; having diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or a bleeding disorder; having corticosteroid injections in the spine; or having neurological disorders or depression or anxiety disorders.

Methods:  Subjects were tested using an ultrasound, the MyotonPRO, a forward flexion test, and the Oswestry Low Back Pain Scale

• Ultrasound to measure thickness of connective tissue in the low back using testing parameters and analysis previously developed by Helen Langevin, Ph.D.

• MyotonPRO, a handheld digital palpation device, used to measure biomechanical properties including stiffness, elasticity, tone, and stress relaxation time (recovery time when stress is applied)

Testing Procedure:

1. Initial testing: Ultrasound, MyotonPRO, flexibility test in hip hinge position, and pain scale using the Oswestry Low Back Pain Scale

2. MELT group: 30-minute MELT self-treatment while watching a MELT video, and 5 minutes resting prior to retest.Control group: read or relaxed during same period

3. Immediate retest: Ultrasound, MyotonPRO, flexibility test in hip hinge position, and pain scale

4. MELT group: 4 week MELT self-treatment protocol.  Control group: no changes to routine

5. Final test: initial testing was repeated one month later; MELT group did not MELT on the retest day


MELT group:

• Significant decrease in pain ! 43% immediate  31% long term

• Significant increase in flexibility ! 9% immediate 24% long term

• Significant decrease in the thickness of the fascial layers and combined thickness of the subcutaneous and fascial layers ! 26% immediate ! 34% long term •

-Significant increase in stress relaxation time in the lower area (below the 12th rib) on the left side of the muscle tissues of the spine ! 8% immediate ! 7% long term

• Decreasing trend in stiffness of muscle tissue of the spine, but change not significant Control group

• No significant changes in pain, flexibility, thickness of the fascial layers, stress relaxation time, or stiffness

FUTURE IMPLICATIONS Connective tissue thickness decrease could suggest that fascia is rehydrated as a result of MELT, therefore hyaluronic acid content needs to be measured and further study is needed.

WHAT’S NEXT Upcoming opportunities: • Poster presentation at Joint Conference on Acupuncture, Oncology, and Fascia at Harvard in November • Paper presentation at ninth Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back & Pelvic Girdle Pain in Singapore next year. In addition, we’ve been approached by organizations wanting to conduct research using MELT.

Thank you for sharing my enthusiasm for the power of Hands-off Bodywork® and this important step for MELT.

Happy MELTing! Annabel



About pilatesmanitoba

Owner, Pilates Manitoba
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