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Study Finds Massage Relieves Pain After Surgery

Posted: December 18, 2007

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Massage to relieve pain dates to Hippocrates, the Greek physician recognized as a father of medicine.

Massage can dilate blood vessels, raise skin temperature and relax the mind and body. It can also reduce lactic acid levels in aching muscles, stimulate healing of connective tissues and increase lymphatic and blood circulation.

Massage may also create mood-boosting endorphins that offer a competing sensation, or may even block pain, the study said.

One problem is that nurses in modern-day hospitals rarely have time to give massages, it said.

Relieving pain with drugs has been controversial because of wariness among some care-givers and patients about dependency or addiction. Some studies have pointed to a tendency to not give patients enough pain-relieving drugs.