Text your pain away?

Text your pain away?

It’s not safe to text behind the wheel, but there’s a setting where its ability to distract people may come in handy — minor surgery.

During a study performed by Cornell University, 98 adult surgical patients who were scheduled to receive regional anesthesia for minor surgeries were randomly assigned to different activities during the surgeries.

These included: play the mobile phone game Angry Birds, text a stranger (a research assistant unaware of the study’s purpose who talked with the patient about hobbies and interests), text a friend or family member, or not use their phones.

Researchers found that the patients who text messaged a stranger required the least supplemental pain medication followed by patients who text messaged a companion, according to results published in the April issue of Pain Medicine.

Some physicians see a possible benefit especially if the distraction led to having the patient take less medication.

“A decreased requirement for pain medication during a procedure would benefit a patient (especially when considering a medication’s potential side effects) so long as the patient does not then require an increased amount of pain medication after the procedure,” says Dr. Divyang Joshi, an anesthesiologist at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill.


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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.