Non drug approaches for treating common pain conditions

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Non drug approaches for treating common pain conditions

People suffer from different types of pain and often cannot get complete relief with medications. Recently, researchers have found that nondrug approaches may be effective for people suffering from pain.

According to a new review, different treatments such as massage therapy, acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, and relaxation therapy have been found to be worth for pain management in fibromyalgia, back pain, osteoporosis, and headaches patients. Different types of treatments are recommended for different diseases for the proper cure.

A review of evidence from clinical trials showed that a variety of such complementary health approaches, hold promise for helping to manage pain. This review was conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. According to Richard L. Nahin, Ph.D., NCCIH’s lead epidemiologist and lead author of the analysis, "For many Americans who suffer from chronic pain, medications may not completely relieve pain and can produce unwanted side effects. As a result, many people may turn to nondrug approaches to help manage their pain." He added, “Our goal for this study was to provide relevant, high-quality information for primary care providers and for patients who suffer from chronic pain.”

Researchers reviewed 105 U.S. based clinical trials from the past 50 years, which were highly relevant to patients in pain within the United States and met inclusion criteria. Even though, the confirming of safety information was low overall, no clinical tests reported significant negative effects owing to interventions. The review focused on U.S. based trial results on seven approaches used for one or more of five painful conditions such as back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and severe headaches and migraine and found promise in the following for safety and effectiveness in treating pain:

1. Acupuncture and yoga for back pain

2. Acupuncture and tai chi for osteoarthritis of the knee

3. Massage therapy for neck pain with adequate doses and for short-term benefit

4. Relaxation techniques for severe headaches and migraine

“These data can equip providers and patients with the information they need to have informed conversations regarding non-drug approaches for treatment of specific pain conditions,” said David Shurtleff, Ph.D., deputy director of NCCIH. “It’s important that continued research explore how these approaches actually work and whether these findings apply broadly in diverse clinical settings and patient populations.”

NIH
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