Local hospital takes 'hands-on' approach to opioid crisis

Patients are turning to medical massages to avoid taking prescriptions

Posted: Mar 4, 2018 6:36 PM
Updated: Mar 5, 2018 9:41 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Medical massages at IU Health Arnett Hospital are being used to lower the number of opioid addictions in Indiana. 

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, 785 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016. Massage therapist Jim Starkweather said the constant use of medication can lead to kidney and liver damage.

Starkweather said this treatment is healthier than taking prescription medications. The medical massages are used to treat symptoms of headaches, migraines and sports injuries. For more severe diagnoses, the techniques can help relieve pain from carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia and more.

"This treatment is specifically good for those patients who have been on medication and want to get off of it," Starkweather. "My massages are different than a typical spa massage."

Lynn Nelson is a physical therapist at IU Health Arnett but has also received massages for her leg pain. For years, Nelson says the pain of the massages is worth the results.

"They don't necessarily feel good when you are receiving them but they are really worthwhile for the benefit that you receive."

Sessions can help relieve symptoms of headaches, sports injuries, carpal tunnel and more.

Treatments last between 30 minutes to an hour depending on the patient's needs.

For more information, call 765-838-7472.

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