Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UF Researchers Test Massage Therapy For Treatment Of Chronic Sickle Cell Pain

Date:
February 14, 1997
Source:
University of Florida Health Science Center
Summary:
University of Florida physicians hope the healing power of hands and a healthy dose of relaxation will help people who suffer from the debilitating pain associated with sickle cell disease. (Video and photos are available for this release.)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Related Articles


By Melanie Fridl Ross

GAINESVILLE, Fla.---University of Florida physicians hope the healing power of hands and a healthy dose of relaxation will help people who suffer from the debilitating pain associated with sickle cell disease. Researchers are testing weekly massage therapy and teaching relaxation techniques to help patients cope with chronic pain.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited disorder of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying molecule in red blood cells. It is especially prevalent among black Americans: About 1 in 600 has a form of the disease, which is characterized by sickle-shaped red blood cells that logjam in vessels. The clogged cells decrease blood flow to various organs, which can cause intense discomfort.

"Many physicians are concerned about the long-term use of medication to manage this sort of pain because it is chronic -- that's why alternative pain control methods are highly desirable," says Michael Robinson, a clinical psychologist at UF's College of Health Professions. "However, there is little data available on their effectiveness, even as nontraditional medical interventions gain popularity. This is an attempt to put two such approaches to a rigorous scientific test."

Sickle cell disease is noted for two types of pain. One is referred to as sickle cell crisis, characterized by sudden episodes of severe pain in the legs, arms or back that often require hospitalization and treatment with potent medications. The other type of pain occurs on a regular basis and consists of achiness that varies in intensity.

Participants 18 and older will be randomized to weekly hourlong sessions of massage therapy or relaxation therapy, which they will attend at the UF Shands Cancer Center. Researchers will record pain levels and function before and after the study. After six weeks, patients will be allowed to choose the treatment option they did not receive for another six weeks. A licensed massage therapist who also is trained in relaxation therapy will administer the treatments. People with sickle cell trait are not eligible to participate in the pilot study, which is funded by the American Massage Therapy Association Foundation.

Relaxation training consists of a series of exercises that gently tense and relax muscles in a specified sequence throughout the body. Patients learn the difference between tense and relaxed muscles, and then learn the ability to relax. Relaxation is defined by decreased muscle tension and respiration, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and increased blood flow.

"This is physiologic relaxation," said Robinson, "not the layperson's idea of 'I'll have a beer in front of the TV to relax.'

"We anticipate both treatments will be effective to some degree, but we hope to determine which is the most effective means of treating the chronic pain," he added. Dr. Richard Lottenberg, chief of the division of hematology and oncology at UF's College of Medicine, said the treatments are a logical choice because so much of sickle cell pain stems from the musculoskeletal system. "We feel it is important to address these patients' pain problems so that we can improve their ability to carry out their own lives, interact with their families and maintain employment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Florida Health Science Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Florida Health Science Center. "UF Researchers Test Massage Therapy For Treatment Of Chronic Sickle Cell Pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/02/970214134452.htm>.
University of Florida Health Science Center. (1997, February 14). UF Researchers Test Massage Therapy For Treatment Of Chronic Sickle Cell Pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 28, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/02/970214134452.htm
University of Florida Health Science Center. "UF Researchers Test Massage Therapy For Treatment Of Chronic Sickle Cell Pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/02/970214134452.htm (accessed January 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

Malnutrition on the Rise as Violence Flares in C. Africa

AFP (Jan. 28, 2015) Violence can flare up at any moment in Bambari with only a bridge separating Muslims and Christians. Malnutrition is on the rise and lack of water means simple cooking fires threaten to destroy makeshift camps where people are living. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Poultry Culled in Taiwan to Thwart Bird Flu

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 28, 2015) Taiwan culls over a million poultry in efforts to halt various strains of avian flu. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Media Criticizing Parents For Not Vaccinating Children

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) As the Disneyland measles outbreak continues to spread, the media says parents who choose not to vaccinate their children are part of the cause. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

Shark Bite Victim Making Amazing Recovery

AP (Jan. 27, 2015) A Texas woman who lost more than five pounds of flesh to a shark in the Bahamas earlier this month could be released from a Florida hospital soon. Experts believe she was bitten by a bull shark while snorkeling. (Jan. 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins