Massage as an Alternative to Pain Meds

Massage as an Alternative to Pain Meds

We all know the Opioid crisis that is a major part of the USA and perhaps the world is a problem. How do you get people to stop doing the thing that gets them out of pain? Having suffered for moths the more pain than I could really bare, I understand how people could be hooked on these things. they don’t WANT to be, but the other side of that is pain..lots of pain. Now many of these people are no longer in physical pain. their body healed but they are addicted and the withdrawal is painful. But for some, their body is broken in one way or another and there is no path to wellness that they can see.

This is where massage can possibly help.

the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has for several years now, included massage therapy among its list of complementary therapies.

The American College of Physicians issued guidelines recommending massage therapy for low-back pain in 2017.

April 2018 – The Center for Medicare Services published new guidelines for Medicare Advantage programs coverage in 2019. “Medically-Approved Non-Opioid Pain Management (PBP B13d, e, or f): Medically-approved non-opioid pain treatment alternatives, including therapeutic massage furnished by a state licensed massage therapist. Massage should not be singled out as a particular aspect of other coverage (e.g., chiropractic care or occupational therapy) and must be ordered by a physician or medical professional in order to be considered primarily health related and not primarily for the comfort or relaxation of the enrollee. The non-opioid pain management item or service must treat or ameliorate the impact of an injury or illness (e.g., pain, stiffness, loss of range of motion).” Medicare Managed Care Manual Chapter 4 – Benefits and Beneficiary Protection

The Spring 2018 issue of The Pain Practitioner included an article by AMTA Past President Dolly Wallace on massage therapy as an alternative to opioids for pain.



NBC medical correspondent Dr. John Torres reported on the Today Show that the CDC recommends massage therapy, NSAIDS and acupuncture as an alternative to opioids.

August 2018 – AMTA published Massage Therapy in Integrative Care & Pain Management, a detailed overview of research on the efficacy of massage therapy and results of an economic modeling indicating that using massage therapy instead of opioids for specific types of pain, could save the U.S. between $23 and $25 billion each year.


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