Massage Therapy for Postoperative Pain

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Massage Therapy for Postoperative Pain

Postoperative pain can be one of the most challenging aspects of recovering after surgery. It may be so debilitating that patients struggle to sleep or relax enough for their bodies to heal properly. Massage therapy is an excellent solution to help reduce this discomfort and encourage healing.

Massage not only removes toxins from the body, but it can also oxygenate and nourish cells while decreasing inflammation. Furthermore, massage helps stimulate production of “feel-good” hormones which may aid in relieving stress and anxiety.

Massage has been proven to be an effective tool in managing postoperative pain, particularly by decreasing opioid usage following surgery.

Studies have indicated that massage can be beneficial for a number of conditions, including back and neck pain, as well as relieving postoperative muscle tension. Furthermore, massage promotes lymphatic drainage and circulation which may reduce swelling by aiding lymphatic drainage and circulation.

According to a study published in the Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, people who received arthroscopic knee surgery reported less pain after receiving just one massage. This may be because good massages increase range of motion and flexibility.

Other studies have indicated that massage can be effective for decreasing scar tissue at the surgical site. This is especially beneficial to individuals who have undergone abdominal surgery, where tightness in muscles and scar tissue can cause discomfort.

Another study demonstrated that patients who received a hand massage after cardiac inpatient surgery reported lower levels of pain and less difficulty moving than those without. They also expressed greater satisfaction with their pain management after receiving the massage.

In this study, 40 patients who had undergone heart surgery were randomly assigned to either a control group that received routine care from nursing staff, an individual-attention group that received additional time with a nationally certified massage therapist each evening from postoperative days 1 through 5, or until discharge, or the massage group which received three 15-minute hand massages by an MT and one 30-minute full body massage by a trained family member.

This study suggests that massage may be an alternative to narcotics for patients who have undergone cardiac surgery. However, further investigation is necessary to confirm if this holds true across all patients and if there are any potential drawbacks associated with using this method of pain management.

Many people are surprised to know that massage can be an effective therapy for postoperative pain. It often works in combination with narcotic drugs to ease the discomfort of surgery, and studies have even demonstrated that a good massage may be just as effective at relieving discomfort as any narcotic drug.

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