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