A new research study shows cancer patients with bone pain benefited from massage therapy in terms of pain intensity, improved mood, muscle relaxation and sleep quality.

Investigators from the Department of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan, set out to compare massage therapy to a social attention control condition on pain intensity, mood status, muscle relaxation, and sleep quality in a sample (n=72) of Taiwanese cancer patients with bone metastases, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov.

“Results from repeated-measures analysis of covariance demonstrated that massage resulted in a linear trend of improvements in mood and relaxation over time,” the researchers noted. “More importantly, the reduction in pain with massage was both statistically and clinically significant, and the massage-related effects on relaxation were sustained for at least 16 to 18 hours postintervention.”

Overall, “results from this study support employing MT as an adjuvant to other therapies in improving bone pain management,” they added.

“Effects of massage on pain, mood status, relaxation, and sleep in Taiwanese patients with metastatic bone pain: A randomized clinical trial” was published in the journal Pain.

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