Two articles on PainSci cite Lim 2009: 1. Massage Therapy Side Effects 2. Does Massage Increase Circulation?
PainSci commentary on Lim 2009: ?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.
This is a case study of a man who’d had deep vein thrombosis presumably caused by a long-haul flight (flex your ankles regularly on flights!). He was treated with anticoagulants for months, but the clot remained… until it was dislodged in a massage two years later. The massage was a “full-body” massage and included the legs, but no other details were noted. “The onset of dyspnoea soon after leg massage suggests that this was the likely cause of thrombus embolisation.” It does seem likely. His only symptom was shortness of breath, which is impressive considering how serious the embolus was. It was a “worm-shaped right atrial embolus, most probably a femoral cast.” Meaning the embolus was basically the shape of the vessel where it had lived until it was dislodged, and wormed its way into a lung.. Shudder.
~ Paul Ingraham
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
A 56-year-old man with a previous deep vein thrombosis presented with dyspnoea after a leg massage. A transthoracic echocardiogram demonstrated a "worm-shaped" right atrial embolus, most probably a femoral cast. A pulmonary artery angiogram confirmed a large wedge-shaped perfusion defect caused by a pulmonary embolus. There are previous case reports about leg massage causing pulmonary emboli but this is the first reported event where the thrombus has been visualised directly. Also, it demonstrates the important role that echocardiography plays in pulmonary embolus.
- “Pulmonary embolus originating below knee,” S E Warren, Lancet, 1978.
- “Renal artery embolization after back massage in a patient with aortic occlusion,” A Mikhail, J F Reidy, P R Taylor, and J E Scoble, Nephrol Dial Transplant, 1997.
- “Massive pulmonary emboli after legs massage,” Fadi I Jabr, Am J Phys Med Rehabil, 2007.
- “Leg massage by mother resulting in fatal pulmonary thromboembolism,” Chittaranjan Behera, Shinto Devassy, Asit R Mridha, Mohit Chauhan, and Sudhir K Gupta, Med Leg J, 2018.
- “Leg massage during pregnancy with unrecognized deep vein thrombosis could be life threatening: a case report,” Krongkarn Sutham, Sukumpat Na-Nan, Salilthip Paiboonsithiwong, Pakorn Chaksuwat, and Theera Tongsong, BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 2020.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Photobiomodulation therapy is not better than placebo in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain: a randomised placebo-controlled trial. Guimarães 2021 Pain.
- No effect of creatine monohydrate supplementation on inflammatory and cartilage degradation biomarkers in individuals with knee osteoarthritis. Cornish 2018 Nutr Res.
- The CANBACK trial: a randomised, controlled clinical trial of oral cannabidiol for people presenting to the emergency department with acute low back pain. Bebee 2021 Med J Aust.
- Relationships Between Sleep Quality and Pain-Related Factors for People with Chronic Low Back Pain: Tests of Reciprocal and Time of Day Effects. Gerhart 2017 Ann Behav Med.
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.