In a recent study, 44% of chronic pain patients

Taking narcotics (opioids) have also used a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy in the previous year. Reasons may include that CAM therapies are thought to be side effect-free or that conventional treatments fail to give relief.

Due to these misconceptions, “the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) urges patients not to replace scientifically proven treatments with unproven CAM therapies. It’s also important to discuss with your healthcare provider any CAM treatments you’re considering; that’s especially key if you’re planning to take any supplements, as many can interact with prescription or even nonprescription drugs.”

With that being said, it is important to note that CAM therapies are beneficial as there is a definite mind/body component to managing chronic pain. CAM remedies can help while pills cannot as long as a patient communicates and is properly understands these therapies. Here’s a quick CAM guide that may be worth pursuing:

1. Acupuncture therapy is a well-known and well-sought after option as nearly 60 percent of chronic pain patients try it. This traditional Chinese medicine method involves the insertion of fine needles into the skin at specific sites to disperse negative qi, or energy.

2. Massage works to relax the muscles and is found to ease lower back pain. Weekly massages have been documented to decrease chronic pain in patients who use massage therapy on a weekly basis.

3. Spinal manipulation involves a controlled force to a joint of the spine given by a chiropractor, physical therapist or osteopathic physician.

To read about additional CAM treatments and what they can do to alleviate chronic pain, click here.

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