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.

Related Articles


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 March 27, 2015 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 March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Indiana Permits Needle Exchange as HIV Cases Skyrocket

Reuters - US Online Video (Mar. 26, 2015) Governor Mike Pence declares the recent HIV outbreak in rural Indiana a "public health emergency" and authorizes a short-term needle-exchange program. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) 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