Measuring the Effect of Therapeutic Massage on Pain and Discomfort in Cardiac Cath Lab Staff

2014-08-27 03:16:41 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effect of therapeutic massage in alleviating musculoskeletal pain and discomfort associated with wearing lead aprons in the cardiac cath lab. We also want to evaluate if therapeutic massage will reduce fatigue, stress, and anxiety while improving the level of relaxation in cardiac cath lab employees who wear lead aprons.


The cardiac catheterization laboratory is a very dynamic work environment. The physical and psychosocial demands of the work environment place a significant amount of stress on the physical well being of the employee. The nature of the work involved includes that of responding to rapidly changing patient clinical conditions which are often urgent, and require repetitive actions in an ergonomically challenging environment. In addition, employees who are directly exposed to the radiation required to perform diagnostic and interventional procedures wear lead aprons weighing on average 10-15 pounds.

A constant build-up of tension in the muscles from regular, repetitive activity may lead to stresses on the muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons. Adding to this, working while wearing lead aprons, with elements of repetitive use and non-optimal ergonomic situations, Cardiac Cath Lab employees are at higher risk for muscle imbalances. The accumulation of tension and imbalance leads to joint wearing and muscle fatigue that result in injuries. Massage therapy, applied skillfully, is one of the most effective forms of therapy for releasing muscle tension, restoring balance to the musculoskeletal system, while creating awareness of musculoskeletal balance in the employee. Massage provided regularly may help employees prevent injuries caused by overuse.

As muscle imbalances develop they often go undiagnosed until they are serious enough to cause the employee discomfort or impede performance. Frequently the discomfort is masked with pain medications and ultimately leads to injuries. A skilled massage therapist will detect variations in the soft tissues and by using the correct techniques, help the employee maintain a much healthier physical state and prevent injury.

Massage therapy is purported to affect both the structure and function of the musculoskeletal system by promoting the relaxation response and reducing muscle tension and fatigue while improving posture. Given the potential benefits of massage therapy, many work environments are implementing massage therapy programs to improve the health and well being of their employees.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment






Mayo Clinic
United States




Mayo Clinic

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:16:41-0400

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