The results of a CODA’s Research Department study has been accepted for publication by the peer-reviewed journal International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork. In 2011, CODA received a $30,000 grant from the Massage Therapy Foundation to study whether Swedish massage impacts pain in patients beginning methadone treatment who also have chronic pain.

The researchers looked at average pain, worst pain, and pain in the last 24 hours in patients randomly assigned to eight weeks of once weekly 50-minute massage or treatment-as-usual.

Overall, findings did not support a clinically significant positive effect of Swedish massage on reduction in pain ratings or improvement in anxiety, depression, or treatment engagement in our patient population with chronic pain. However, an important subgroup–those who felt they had the ability to become pain-free–showed clinically and statistically significant improvements in pain.

Of note in our patient population is that a majority of participants (55%) reported that their chronic pain was part of the reason they sought methadone maintenance versus other forms of opioid-dependence treatment without analgesic properties and 85% of heroin users believed their chronic pain contributed to their heroin use.

In other news: CODA was the lead team on a recent publication in Journal of Addiction Medicine, “Pain and emotional distress among substance-use patients beginning treatment relative to a representative comparison group.” (NIHMSID # 610784  Publ.ID: JAM-D-13-00147, 2014.)