Senator Capito Calls For Better Pain Management

On January 11, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. VA), one of the Ranking Members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, sent a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) encouraging the distribution of the CARA-mandated HHS Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force Report to medical providers. Completed in 2019, this widely-endorsed report recommends current best practices in pain care by taking an individualized, multidisciplinary treatment approach including complementary and integrative healthcare methods. If approved, this report and supporting educational materials would be distributed to medical providers treating patients with chronic pain.

Last fall, AMTA past president, Angela Barker, participated in a grassroots education training program over the course of six months with the U.S. Pain Foundation patient advocacy group. As a massage therapist and advocate, Angela’s viewpoint was vital and culminated in a meeting with Senator Capito’s office that convinced the Senator to move forward with this crucial issue and write the letter to the Secretary of HHS. Thank you to Angela and the U.S. Pain Foundation Advocacy program for helping advance the conversation on the importance of massage therapy for pain management among medical providers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain daily, affecting more people than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Patients living with chronic pain face significant challenges in obtaining adequate care. The HHS Report would help provide a more comprehensive and improved understanding of the full range of treatment options available (including massage therapy) for those dealing with chronic pain.

“It’s important for people coping with pain and healthcare providers alike to understand the role that massage therapy can play in an integrative approach to pain relief.  I applaud Angela Barker and the many other massage therapists who are helping move this crucial issue forward,” said AMTA President, Michaele Colizza.

Explore resources to learn more about AMTA’s advocacy efforts on massage therapy for pain relief. We are dedicated to this issue, investing membership dollars back into the profession for research, advocacy and promotion of massage for pain management.