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Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2016 Jun 3;9(2):3-8. eCollection 2016 Jun.

Intradialytic Massage for Leg Cramps Among Hemodialysis Patients: a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial.

Author information

1
Case Western Reserve University and MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients on hemodialysis often experience muscle cramps that result in discomfort, shortened treatment times, and inadequate dialysis dose. Cramps have been associated with adversely affecting sleep and health-related quality of life, depression and anxiety. There is limited evidence available about massage in dialysis; however, massage in cancer patients has demonstrated decreases in pain, inflammation, and feelings of anxiety. These correlations indicate massage may be an effective treatment modality for hemodialysis-related lower extremity cramping.

PURPOSE:

To determine the effectiveness of intradialytic massage on the frequency of cramping among hemodialysis patients prone to lower extremity cramping.

PARTICIPANTS:

26 maintenance hemodialysis patients with frequent lower extremity cramps.

SETTING:

three outpatient hemodialysis centers in Northeast Ohio.

RESEARCH DESIGN:

randomized controlled trial.

INTERVENTION:

The intervention group received a 20-minute massage of the lower extremities during each treatment (three times per week) for two weeks. The control group received usual care by dialysis center staff.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

change in frequency of lower leg cramping.

RESULTS:

Patient reported cramping at home decreased by 1.3 episodes per week in the intervention group compared to 0.2 episodes per week in the control group (p=.005). Patient reported cramping during dialysis decreased by 0.8 episodes in the intervention group compared to 0.4 episodes in the control group (p=0.44).

CONCLUSION:

Intradialytic massage appears to be an effective way to address muscle cramping. Larger studies with longer duration should be conducted to further examine this approach.

KEYWORDS:

dialysis; massage; muscle cramping

PMID:
27257445
PMCID:
PMC4868507

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