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Massage eases post-operative pain

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Back massage can help relieve pain and anxiety following major surgery, a study has found.

In the research conducted on 605 veterans in the US with a mean age of 65 years, those who had a back massage each evening for five days after an operation said they experienced less pain compared with a control group.

A further group received individual attention from massage therapist but no massage.

All groups were asked to rate pain and anxiety using a visual scale over the five days following an operation.

The massage group experienced the greatest relief in symptoms of pain, pain unpleasantness and anxiety.

Authors concluded: ‘Massage is an effective and safe adjuvant therapy for the relief of acute postoperative pain in patients undergoing major operations.’

Archives of Surgery (2007) 1158-1167

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