Manual therapy research suggests dramatic reductions in tingling and numbness in all four extremities, complete resolution of pain, and extremities felt warm


Purpose Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is a common, miserable, potentially severe, and often dose-limiting side effect of several first and secondline anti-cancer agents with little in the way of effective, acceptable treatment. Although mechanisms of damage differ, manual therapy (therapeutic massage) has effectively reduced symptoms and improved quality of life in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Methods Here, we describe application of manual therapy (techniques of effleurage and petrissage) to the extremities in a patient with grade 2 CIPN subsequent to prior treatment with docetaxel and cisplatin for stage III esophageal adenocarcinoma. Superficial cutaneous temperature was monitored using infrared thermistry as proxy for microvascular blood flow. Results By the end of the course of manual therapy without any change in medications, CIPN symptoms were greatly reduced to grade 1, with corresponding improvement in quality of life. Improvements in superficial temperature were observed in fingers and toes. Conclusions Manual therapy was associated with almost complete resolution of the tingling and numbness and pain of CIPN in this patient. Concurrently increased superficial temperature suggests improvements in CIPN symptoms may have involved changes in blood circulation. To our knowledge, this is the first report of using manual therapy for amelioration of CIPN.

2018-02-03T21:32:40+00:00January 13th, 2016|Cancer, Massage|0 Comments

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