We know the unique properties of fascia supporting our body, but now research has shown that fascia canbe used to rebuild human muscle. Sgt. Ron Strang suffered a roadside bomb in Afghanistan that blew off part of his left thigh two years ago. The accident made him wonder if he would ever be able to walk normally again. But now he walks easily, can run on a treadmill. There is something else they would never have guessed: Sergeant Strang has grown new muscle thanks to a thin sheet of fascia from a pig.
The material, called extracellular matrix, is the natural scaffolding that underlies all tissues and organs, in people as well as animals. It is produced by cells, and for years scientists thought that its main role was to hold them in their proper position. Researchers now know that this scaffolding also signals the body to grow and repair those tissues and organs. Armed with that knowledge, the new body builders are using this material from pigs and other animals to engineer the growth of replacement tissue in humans.
Dr. Peter Rubin, a plastic surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center who is a leader of the study, said that early results with Sergeant Strang and a handful of other patients showed that the animal scaffolding was spurring muscle growth. “We are seeing evidence of remodeling of tissues,” he said.
Last fall, Dr. Rubin cut out the scar tissue from Sergeant Strang’s leg and stitched a sheet resembling a thick piece of parchment paper — extracellular matrix from a pig urinary bladder, which had shown excellent results in lab studies — into the remaining healthy thigh muscle.
His body immediately started breaking down the matrix, which consists largely of collagen and other proteins. But the doctors expected, and wanted, that to happen — by degrading into smaller compounds, the matrix started the signaling process, recruiting stem cells to come to the site where they could become muscle cells.
Researchers from Cardiothoracic Surgical Research Unit, Department of Surgery, Monash University Alfred Hospital in Melbourne conducted a research to determine whether massage significantly reduces anxiety, pain, and muscular tension and enhances relaxation compared with an equivalent period of rest time after cardiac surgery. The feasibility of delivering the treatment, effects on heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate, and patient satisfaction were also assessed.
The study was recently published in the Journal of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery. Elective cardiac surgery patients were randomized to receive massage or rest time at 2 points in time after surgery. Visual analog scales were used to measure pain, anxiety, relaxation, muscular tension, and satisfaction. Heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure were measured before and after treatment. Focus groups and feedback were used to collect qualitative data about clinical significance and feasibility.
A total of 152 patients (99% response rate) participated. The results showed that massage therapy produced a significantly greater reduction in pain , anxiety, and muscular tension. It also increases in relaxation and satisfaction compared to the rest time. However no significant differences were seen for heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.
Pain was significantly reduced after massage on day 3 or 4 and day 5 or 6. Meanwhile the control group experienced no significant change at either time. Anxiety and muscular tension were also significantly reduced in the massage group at both points. Relaxation was significantly improved on day 3 or 4 for both groups (massage, and rest time), but only massage was effective on day 5 or 6. In addition, nurses and physiotherapists observed patient improvements and helped facilitate delivery of the treatment by the massage therapists on the ward.
The authors concluded that massage therapy significantly reduced the pain, anxiety, and muscular tension and improves relaxation and satisfaction after cardiac surgery.
The Benefits of Giving a Massage on the Mental State of Massage Therapists
Researchers from the Department of Primary Care & Department of Continuing Professional Development, University of Oxford , UK conducted a study was to determine whether giving a massage had an impact of the mental state of the massage therapist. The study was published in J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Sep 4.
The design of this study was a randomized, controlled, blinded study with two parallel groups. This study was conducted at an accredited school of therapeutic massage in Dallas, Texas. The study comprised healthy female and male final-term massage students between ages 18 and 65 years. The participants were randomized into two groups: (1) the experimental group who gave a 1-hour Swedish massage to a massage client (Massage group), or (2) the control group who sat in a room doing normal, daily activities (Control group). Both these activities were a normal part of the daily routine for these massage students.The primary outcomes were the change in the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) scores pre- and postparticipation.
Twenty-two participants were randomized in this trial. The baseline characteristics were comparable between the two groups. A statistically significant advantage for the massage group was found relative to the control group in subjective anxiety (DASS Anxiety Subscale). There were no significant differences between the groups with regard to total DASS score on depressive symptoms and stress-related symptoms. There were no adverse events reported by any participant.
This study shows that massage therapists themselves may benefit from giving a therapeutic massage by experiencing less subjective anxiety following the giving of a massage.
Massage for mechanical neck disorders
Another new 'evidence-based' was published recently in Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Sep 12 on the effectiveness of massage for mechanical neck disorders
The prevalence of mechanical neck disorders (MND) is known to be both a hindrance to individuals and costly to society. As such, massage is widely used as a form of treatment for MND. To assess the effects of massage on pain, function, patient satisfaction, global perceived effect, adverse effects and cost of care in adults with neck pain versus any comparison at immediate post-treatment to long-term follow-up.
We searched The Cochrane Library (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, MANTIS, CINAHL, and ICL databases from date of inception to 4 Feburary 2012.
SELECTION CRITERIA: Studies using random assignment were included.
DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently conducted citation identification, study selection, data abstraction and methodological quality assessment. Using a random-effects model, we calculated the risk ratio and standardised mean difference.
MAIN RESULTS: Fifteen trials met the inclusion criteria. The overall methodology of all the trials assessed was either low or very low GRADE level. None of the trials were of strong to moderate GRADE level. The results showed very low level evidence that certain massage techniques (traditional Chinese massage, classical and modified strain/counterstrain technique) may have been more effective than control or placebo treatment in improving function and tenderness. There was very low level evidence that massage may have been more beneficial than education in the short term for pain bothersomeness. Along with that, there was low level evidence that ischaemic compression and passive stretch may have been more effective in combination rather than individually for pain reduction. The clinical applicability assessment showed that only 4/15 trials adequately described the massage technique. The majority of the trials assessed outcomes at immediate post-treatment, which is not an adequate time to assess clinical change. Due to the limitations in the quality of existing studies, we were unable to make any firm statement to guide clinical practice. We noted that only four of the 15 studies reported side effects. All four studies reported post-treatment pain as a side effect and one study (Irnich 2001) showed that 22% of the participants experienced low blood pressure following treatment.
AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: No recommendations for practice can be made at this time because the effectiveness of massage for neck pain remains uncertain. As a stand-alone treatment, massage for MND was found to provide an immediate or short-term effectiveness or both in pain and tenderness. Additionally, future research is needed in order to assess the long-term effects of treatment and treatments provided on more than one occasion.
You were pretty disappointed don't you ... So should we wait for a future research to assess the long-term effects of treatment and not recommend any massage? Do you think such information is useful :-)
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