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A smarter way to deal with pain than opioids

Millions of Americans are dealing with pain. As an example, over 80 percent of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives, according to Suzanne Kane in her article “Smarter Ways to Deal with Pain,” on Psych Central.  About 39 million Americans report they experience pain from migraine headaches and more than 4 million say they experience debilitating pain, characterized at 15 or more days a month.  The priority for individuals and government agencies is to find non opioid pain relief methods.

Massage, in particular whole body Swedish massage, is one of the methods Kane cites as an alternative to opioids for knee pain.  A new study, sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), found that whole body Swedish massage, administered weekly, significantly reduced knee pain and stiffness, and improved function in participants.

After eight weeks of regular weekly massage therapy, study participants showed gains in physical function, timed 50-foot walk, and improved pain and stiffness. However, since the study size was small, researchers said that they may not be able to generalize such results to other groups. Read more.

Pediatric palliative care patients benefit from massage

A new study found a 10-minute massage resulted in less pain for pediatric palliative care patients and less distress for their caregivers, writes Massage Magazine.  The study, “Impact of a Massage Therapy Intervention for Pediatric Palliative Care Patients and their Family Caregivers,” involved 53 pediatric palliative care patients with complex, chronic medical conditions and 112 family caregivers. Each family member received a 30-minute scheduled massage intervention in the patient’s hospital room.

Massage Magazines notes that symptom severity and the number of times each patient needed to use medication for nausea or pain were the main study outcome measures. Caregiver distress and nurse perception of massage therapy for patients and caregivers were the other outcome measures.

Research indicated reduced pain among the patients as well as a statistically significant reduction in the use of pain medication 24 hours after the massage. Caregiver distress also decreased after the intervention. Nurses had a positive response to the use of massage therapy for patients and caregivers. Read more.

 

Demand for spa therapies expected to grow

Market research Fact.MR forecasts that the global spa market is expected to represent a value of over US$ 140,000 million by the end of 2026. The firm attributes the demand for spa services to the increasing need to maintain a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle.  Also the prevalence of chronic diseases is further expected to boost demand globally.  Specifically in its announcement, the firm points to:

  • Mental exhaustion and stress in our hectic lifestyle has led to increased spending on relaxing and rejuvenation therapies such as spa and aromatherapy. Hectic routines can further lead to physical stress leading to increasing demand for pain management. Demand for pain management will continue to contribute towards growth of the global spa market.
  • Growing need for anti-aging treatments is further expected to impact spa market growth. An aging population increasingly is spending on non-surgical treatments such as exfoliation and peel to improve their physical and mental health. Detoxification of the system and anti-stress treatment will continue to rev up demand for spa treatments in the global market.

Prevalence of chronic diseases such as asthma will continue to boost demand for a range of spa therapies. According to CDC, 7.6% of the adults who fall in the age bracket of 18 years and above, which some 18.4 million people in the U.S., have asthma. Increased spending on relaxing therapies such as sauna and spa treatment provides asthmatic patients a respiratory relief. Read more.