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bibliography*The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Tanriover 2009.

An unusual complication: prolonged myopathy due to an alternative medical therapy with heat and massage


Tags: treatment, massage, ice heat, harms, manual therapy, rehab, injury, pain problems, self-treatment

PainSci summary of Tanriover 2009?This page is one of thousands in the 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 at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★☆☆☆?2-star ratings are for studies with flaws, bias, and/or conflict of interest; published in lesser journals. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This paper tells the horror story of one person’s awful experience with a severe reaction to (apparently) infrared heat and regular massage over several days. The trouble started after several days. His neck and arms became swollen, the pain “unbearable,” and his “serum muscle enzymes were increased” — probably some form or degree of rhabdomyolysis, which implicates the massage itself as a mechanism of injury.

Massage is not likely to “blame,” however — it was probably interacting with some unidentified vulnerability in the patient, such a muscle disease or a complication caused by a medication. Clearly massage and heat alone do not normally cause such severe side effects.

original abstractAbstracts 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 66-year-old male presented with swelling of the neck and arms, which was limiting his daily activities. Serum muscle enzymes were increased. A detailed history revealed that the patient received 10 cycles of infrared heat and massage therapy approximately 1 month before his first visit to the outpatient clinic. The swelling of the extremities began on day 11 of therapy, and the pain became unbearable. He was followed up with analgesics. There was a significant decrease in the muscle enzymes and a subjective improvement of 60-70% one month after discharge. Alternative therapies may have serious complications, and patients usually do not report them unless asked specifically.

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These two articles on cite Tanriover 2009 as a source:

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: