Postoperative Pain Reduced

Sunlight may reduce postoperative pain and need for pain-relieving medications.

Scientists enrolled 89 patients who had spinal surgery into a study and randomly assigned the patients to rooms that were sunny or dimly lighted. Subjects in the lighter rooms received 46 percent more sunlight per day than those in the darker rooms.

Patients in the dim rooms needed more opiates per day and their average intake of these drugs was 28 percent higher per hour than that of the subjects in the sunny rooms. In fact, there was a 21 percent decrease in costs for the medications for patients who received more light. These patients also had lower stress levels than those of patients in the dimmer rooms.

Walch J, Rabin BS, Day R, et al. The effect of sunlight on postoperative analgesic medication use: A prospective study of patients undergoing spinal surgery. Psychosom Med 2005;67:156-163.


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