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Health briefs: There's the rub

Massage therapy may be better than medication or exercise for easing low back pain in the short term, a new government-funded study suggests. Seattle researchers recruited 401 patients, mostly middle-age, female and white. Those who received a series of either relaxation massage or structural massage were better able to work and be active for up to a year than those getting painkillers, anti-

inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants or physical therapy, the researchers found.

Eat fat, get high?

The next time you indulge in a juicy steak or a hot fudge sundae, consider this: The high you get from eating all that fat may be related to the one you might feel if you smoked marijuana. The same mechanism that gives pot smokers the "munchies" -- a nearly irresistible desire to eat -- may help explain why people like fat so much, according to a new study involving rats. The research offers insight into how your body forces you to eat and could eventually help lead to treatments designed to calm food cravings, said study co-author Daniele Piomelli, a professor of pharmacology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine.

-- HealthDay