Myofascial Massage for Chronic Pain After Breast Surgery

January 22, 2019   |   Evidence in Integrative Healthcare

A 2018 research article published by the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork highlighted massage to improve upper extremity mobility and decrease pain following breast cancer surgery. The study included 21 female subjects at 3-18 months post-surgery, receiving 16, 30-minute massage sessions, over 8 weeks, using Swedish technique on the entire body. Control subjects received the same treatment, but avoided any massage of the affected breast, shoulder and chest. Outcome measures included pain scales and quality of life questions. Compared to the control group, the subjects with site specific treatment had more favorable outcomes. However, all subjects reported reduced self-reported pain and decreased feelings of ‘downheartedness’. The site specific group had better outcomes with decreased pain and improved mobility.