Massage as adjuvant therapy in the management of post-cesarean pain and anxiety: A randomized clinical trial

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Aug;24:92-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.05.014. Epub 2016 May 30.


Objective: The present study was conducted to determine the effect of massage on post-cesarean pain and anxiety.

Methods: The present single-blind clinical trial was conducted on 156 primiparous women undergone elective cesarean section. The participants were randomly divided into three groups, including a hand and foot massage group, a foot massage group and a control group (n = 52 per group). The patients' intensity of pain, vital signs and anxiety level were measured before, immediately after and 90 min after the massage.

Results: A significant reduction was observed in the intensity of pain immediately and 90 min after massage (P < 0.001). Moreover, changes in some of the physiological parameters, including blood pressure and respiration rate, were significant after massage (P < 0.001); however, this change was not significant for pulse rate. A significant reduction was also observed in the level of anxiety (P < 0.001) and a significant increase in the frequency of breastfeeding (P < 0.001) after massage.

Conclusion: As an effective nursing intervention presenting no side-effects, hand and foot massage can be helpful in the management of postoperative pain and stress.

Keywords: Anxiety; Cesarean section; Massage; Pain.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / therapy*
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy
  • Blood Pressure
  • Breast Feeding
  • Cesarean Section / adverse effects*
  • Cesarean Section / psychology
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Foot
  • Hand
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Massage* / methods
  • Pain Management
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / therapy*
  • Postnatal Care*
  • Pregnancy
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Young Adult