An Arthritis Boom?

Many massage clients seek healthy touch to provide respite from arthritis pain—and the number of such clients could grow greatly in the future, according to new health-trends research.

Almost half of the baby-boomer generation will live with arthritis by 2030, and that number peaks to just over 26 million in 2020, according to a report released May 8 by First Consulting Group and reported in a press release of the American Hospital Association (AHA). Massage has been shown to reduce hand arthritis pain and to relieve the pain of knee osteoarthritis.

The nation's over-65 population will nearly triple between 1980 and 2030, adding new demands and challenges on an already stressed-out health system, the press release noted.

"Today's report outlines a tidal wave of health needs—boomers are just the beginning," said Rich Umbdenstock, president of the AHA. "The good news is more of us will be active and enjoying our later years.  But to meet the health challenges that come with that, we will need a greater focus on wellness and prevention, new approaches to care delivery, and a new look at the American health-care system."

The first boomers will turn 65 in 2011 and, according to today's report, more than 37 million of them—six out of 10—will be managing more than one chronic condition by 2030, according to the report.

Also by 2030, 14 million—or one of out every four—boomers will be living with diabetes, and more than one out of three boomers—more than 21 million—will be considered obese.

For more information, visit the AHA Web site at