Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 50 million adults in the United States have chronic daily pain, with 19.6 million adults experiencing high-impact chronic pain that interferes with daily life or work activities. The cost of pain to our nation is estimated at between $560 billion and $635 billion annually.
Massage Therapy and Integrative Care (PDF) and Pain Management Report by The American Massage Therapy Association says:
Massage therapy is a well-accepted nonpharmacological therapy for managing pain, which includes a variety of specific chronic and acute pain issues. It is recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and included in nonpharmacological pain guidelines issued by The Joint Commission, as well as the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Federation of State Medical Boards. It is recognized by the Department of Defense and the Veterans Health Administration as an effective treatment for chronic pain, is included in DoD/VA pain management guidelines and is a covered service in DoD/VHA facilities. It is specifically mentioned in guidelines for opioid alternatives by the Attorney General of West Virginia; and is referenced in a September 2017 letter from 37 State Attorneys General to the President and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, which encourages insurance coverage of alternatives to opioids.
This important report from the AMTA shows that massage therapy is a viable alternative to Opioids especially for chronic pain management. The report shows that massage therapy is especially useful for chronic pain management of back pain, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, neck and shoulder pain, fibromyalgia and should be an important part of hospice care. Massage therapy is effective for substance use disorder recovery as well as a viable treatment for depression, anxiety, stress and PTSD. Massage therapy is used for rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions, job related injuries and for management of post surgical pain. It is an important part of maternity and newborn care as well as being very effective to enhance and support athletic training.
There is significant evidence supporting the inclusion of massage therapy for many important patient health treatments, including those for chronic pain management (such as back pain, headache, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, neck and shoulder pain, fibromyalgia, and hospice care), behavioral health treatment (anxiety and stress, depression, PTSD, and substance use disorder recovery), rehabilitation/physical training (athletic training/injury treatment, ergonomics and job-related injuries, cardiac rehab, joint replacement surgery, and scar management), and acute medical conditions (cancer management, post-operative pain, lymphatic drainage, and maternity and newborn care). ~Massage therapy and Integrative Pain Management, AMTA
The report concludes that:
Simply using massage therapy instead of opioid medication for client conditions where massage is proven effective can reduce overall addiction rates in the United States by about 111,137 people. In this sense, the benefits of massage therapy are twofold: reducing the number of people who potentially struggle with opioid addiction and reducing the impact on the American economy by up to $25.99 billion annually . ~Massage therapy and Integrative Pain Management, AMTA
And the Research Says
New Research Analysis Indicates Massage Therapy Strongly Recommended for Pain Management
Published May 10, 2016
New Research Analysis Indicates Massage Therapy Shows Promise for Pain & Anxiety in Cancer Patients
Published August 17, 2016
New Research Analysis Indicates Value of Massage Therapy for Surgical Pain
Published September 14, 2016 “Based on this systematic review and meta-analysis, massage therapy was found to not only be relatively safe, with infrequent adverse events, but also more efficacious than other active treatments for treating pain and anxiety in surgical populations. “
Meta-Analysis on Massage Therapy and Pain Database – search the full database used in these meta-analyses. https://massagetherapyfoundation.org/massage-research/mt_and_pain_database/