Post-operative pain and other adverse treatment reactions following cesarean (c-) section often require high doses of narcotics and other medications, resulting in poor return to normal bowel function, emotional distress and poor ambulation.
Osteopathic myofascial release has been long used in the osteopathic profession and is designed to stretch and release patterned soft tissue. This technique applied to a surgical site, relieves tensions, resulting in increased blood and lymph flows, hence in less pain, faster and more ordered tissue healing with less scar formation, with no pain experienced by the patient.
For three years the Principal Investigator has utilized a single session of osteopathic myofascial release treatment in the surgical region of c-section patients to improve the post-surgical prognosis with apparently good results.
This study is designed to assess the effects of myofascial release treatment on several measures of postoperative recovery following c-section, including improved bowel function, reduced pain and pain medications, earlier ambulation, reduced hospital stay, less nausea and vomiting, reduced flatus and patients' increased satisfaction.
We will utilize 128 patients from the hospital practices of the second Co-Investigator (Coe). Following informed consent, the patients will be randomized into either the control group receiving no treatment or the experimental group receiving one myofascial release treatment the day following the c-section. The measures (taken by blinded assessors or abstracted from patient charts) of function, pain perception and scores from the satisfaction questionnaire will be compared to determine differences between the groups.
The study outcomes have the potential to show that a simple, easily administered and benign osteopathic intervention can have a significant impact on the postoperative course following a surgical procedure. If an effect is shown, the cost savings from reduced post-surgical sequelae could be great, both in dollars and patient satisfaction, thus enhancing the evidence base of osteopathic medicine.