Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Massage May Help Ease Pain And Anxiety After Surgery

Date:
December 18, 2007
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
A 20-minute evening back massage may help relieve pain and reduce anxiety following major surgery when given in addition to pain medications, according to a new report. Many patients still experience pain following major surgery despite the availability of pain-relieving medications, according to background information in the article.

A 20-minute evening back massage may help relieve pain and reduce anxiety following major surgery when given in addition to pain medications, according to a new report.

Many patients still experience pain following major surgery despite the availability of pain-relieving medications, according to background information in the article. Pain may be under-treated because patients fear becoming dependent on medications, are concerned about side effects, believe that they should endure pain without complaining or worry about bothering nurses. Physicians and nurses may administer ineffective doses of pain relievers because of personal biases, cultural attitudes or a lack of knowledge.

Allison R. Mitchinson, M.P.H., N.C.T.M.B., of the Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, Mich., and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial involving 605 veterans (average age 64) undergoing major surgery (chest or abdominal operations) between 2003 and 2005. Patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups for the five days following surgery: 203 received routine care; 200 received a daily 20-minute back massage; and 202 received 20 minutes of individual attention each day from a massage therapist, but no massage.

"The purpose of this group was to assess the effect of emotional support independent of massage," the authors write. Patients were asked daily to rate the intensity and unpleasantness of their pain, plus their level of anxiety, on scales of one to 10.

"Compared with the control group, patients in the massage group experienced short-term (preintervention vs. postintervention) decreases in pain intensity, pain unpleasantness and anxiety," the authors write. "In addition, patients in the massage group experienced a faster rate of decrease in pain intensity and unpleasantness during the first four postoperative days compared with the control group." There were no differences in long-term anxiety, length of hospital stay or the amount of pain-relieving medications used among the three groups.

"The effectiveness of massage in reducing both the intensity and unpleasantness of pain suggests that it may act through more than one mechanism," the authors write. "Massage may ameliorate suffering by helping to relieve the anxiety that so effectively synergizes with pain to create distress." It could also generate mood-boosting endorphins or create a competing sensation that blocks pain, they note.

"Historically, massage was a common experience for postsurgical patients," the authors write. "As health care systems have become more complex and administrative demands on nursing time have increased, the tradition of nurse-administered massage has been largely lost. With the recent emphasis on assessing pain as the fifth vital sign tempered by renewed concerns for patient safety, it is time to reintegrate the use of effective and less dangerous approaches to relieve patient distress."

Journal reference: Arch Surg. 2007;142(12):1158-1167.

This study was supported by a grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Massage May Help Ease Pain And Anxiety After Surgery." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071217162531.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2007, December 18). Massage May Help Ease Pain And Anxiety After Surgery. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071217162531.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Massage May Help Ease Pain And Anxiety After Surgery." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071217162531.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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