'Non-drugs' ease hospital pain

MINNEAPOLIS, Maine, March 9 (UPI) -- Non-traditional techniques are effective in reducing pain in hospitalized patients, U.S. researchers say.

The therapies did not involve medication and were observed to relieve pain as much as 50 percent in a wide range of hospitalized patients.


"Roughly 80 percent of patients report moderate to severe pain levels after surgery," a study author, Dr. Gregory Plotnikoff of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, said in a statement.

Plotnikoff noted the non-drug treatments provided pain relief without any of the adverse effects of opioid medications -- such as respiratory depression, nausea, constipation, dizziness and falls.

The study involved 1,837 cardiovascular, medical, surgical, orthopedics, spine, rehabilitation, oncology, or women's health patients hospitalized at Abbot Northwestern anytime from Jan. 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009. The patients were asked to verbally score their pain on a 0-to-10 scale before and after treatments.

The study, published in the Journal of Patient Safety, included only non-pharmaceutical services such as therapies to elicit the relaxation response, acupuncture, acupressure, massage therapy, healing touch, music therapy, aromatherapy and reflexology.

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