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Nurs Times. 2011 Mar 29-Apr 4;107(12):20-2.

Does abdominal massage relieve constipation?

Author information

1
Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit, Glasgow Caledonian University, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Abdominal massage has been used to treat constipation since the 19th century, yet questions remain over its effectiveness and which patient groups benefit from it the most.

AIM:

To determine whether abdominal massage is effective for the relief of constipation.

METHOD:

A review of observational studies, case reports and randomised controlled trials was carried out to determine whether abdominal massage is effective in relieving constipation.

RESULTS:

Abdominal massage can relieve constipation of various physiological causes. It stimulates peristalsis, decreases colonic transit time and increases the frequency of bowel movements. It also reduces discomfort and pain, induces.

CONCLUSION:

Abdominal massage should be considered when treating patients with constipation. It has no adverse side-effects and can easily be taught to patients and carers so they can undertake it themselves.

PMID:
21520798
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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