Breast Cancer Awareness month is meant to raise awareness, increase prevention methods for women, and to honor the fighters and survivors of the horrendous disease. Chemotherapy patients are some of the toughest people you’ll find. Here in Hawaii and all around the country, chemotherapy patients end up with a long list of side effects and symptoms from the chemo. One of the more common results of chemotherapy is a condition called Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) that causes patients to have negative symptoms like numbness in the limbs, trouble hearing, trouble feeling the shape of small objects in hands, joint pains or even trouble walking. This condition happens to between 30-40% of all chemotherapy patients.
In a study that was presented at the 2016 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium, researchers evaluated whether or not the use of a massage therapist could serve as a preventative option or a treatment option for chemotherapy patients with CIPN. The study involved 62 participants that were receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy. The patients were given two separate massages as primary and secondary treatment for CIPN.
The study found that after the first session by a massage therapist, 95% or more patients found vast improvement in the symptom areas: joint pain, muscle cramps, feels weak all over, and trouble walking. 52% of patients or more found improvement in every single symptom category. After the second massage session for patients nearly one-third of all the patients reported symptom progression.
Due to these findings, incorporating massage therapy into the treatment plan of a cytotoxic chemotherapy patients could greatly improve the symptoms of CIPN as well as helping to prevent some of the symptoms from happening in general. Here at Oahu Spine & Rehab in Kailua, our massage therapists are experts in pain relief and joint and muscle pains. In our private massage rooms, our staff offers therapeutic massages for chemotherapy patients as recommended by our medical staff in their treatment plan. If you or a loved one is in pain or suffering from CIPN due to chemotherapy, give us a call today to make an appointment with a massage therapists and our medical team at 488-5555!
Menendez AG, Cobb R, Carvajal AR, et al. Effectiveness of massage therapy (MT) as a treatment strategy and preventive modality for chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) symptoms. Poster presented at: 2016 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium; September 9-10, 2016; San Francisco, CA.