Pasyar N, Rambod M, Kahkhaee FR The Effect of Foot Massage on Pain Intensity and Anxiety in Patients Having Undergone a Tibial Shaft Fracture Surgery: A Randomized Clinical Trial. J Orthop Trauma. 2018 Dec;32(12):e482-e486. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000001320. (Original study)

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of massage therapy on pain intensity and anxiety in patients who have undergone tibial shaft fracture surgery.

DESIGN: This study was a randomized clinical trial with a pre-post design. As the study included 2 treatment groups, it was a parallel study.

SETTING: Khatam-Al-Anbia Hospital in Zahedan, Iran, between July and August 2017.

PATIENTS: In all, 66 patients who underwent a tibial shaft fracture surgery were enrolled and randomly assigned to intervention and control groups (33 patients each).

INTERVENTION: The intervention included a 10-minute foot massage (5 minutes per leg) using sweet almond oil, the most common lubricant used in massage therapy.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Data were collected using pain numeric rating scale and Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory before and after intervention.

RESULTS: After intervention, the mean scores for pain intensity, and anxiety in the intervention and control groups were 4.72 (0.97) and 5.72 (0.91), and 42.84 (6.50) and 58.36 (10.37), respectively. A significant difference was noted between the intervention and control groups concerning pain intensity and anxiety.

CONCLUSIONS: The results indicated that massage therapy reduced pain intensity and anxiety in patients who underwent tibial shaft fracture surgery. Therefore, using massage as a noninvasive and acceptable intervention is suggested in orthopaedic surgery, especially after tibial shaft fracture surgeries.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level I. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Discipline Area Score
Physician 5 / 7
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Physician rater

Massage is probably underused, but there are many types of them!
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