Massage Therapy Can Aid in Postoperative Pain Relief

Approved September 2008

Position Statement

It is the position of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) that massage has been shown to aid in postoperative pain relief.

Background Information

Postoperative pain can complicate and delay a patient’s recovery, lengthen hospital stays and costs, and interfere with a patient’s return to activities of daily living.  In many people, pain medications can have unpleasant side effects.  Research indicates that massage can decrease postoperative pain, decrease postoperative pain intensity, decrease postoperative pain unpleasantness/distress, decrease sympathetic responses to postoperative pain, accelerate the rate of decline in the intensity of postoperative pain, accelerate the rate of decline of the unpleasantness of postoperative pain, decrease doses of analgesics and increase levels of calmness/feelings of well-being.


Disclaimer: Position statements of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) are approved by the AMTA House of Delegates and reflect the views and opinions of the association, based on current research. These statements are not expressions of legal opinion relative to scope of practice, medical diagnosis or medical advice, nor do they represent an endorsement of any product, company or specific massage therapy technique, modality or approach.

Originally proposed by Ann Blair Kennedy

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"As a professional member of AMTA, I have found comfort in knowing that all the effort I put into obtaining my massage certification is recognized and protected. AMTA standards validate the profession."

Kim K., AMTA member since 2003

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