Pain conditions treatment with nondrug options: NIH

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Pain conditions treatment with nondrug options: NIH

Recent research suggests that majority of the popular complementary health approaches including yoga, tai chi and acupuncture act as effective tools for managing common pain conditions. People usually suffer from various pain conditions and may not recover using medications.

They often turn to complementary health approaches to help, yet primary care providers have lacked a robust evidence base to guide recommendations on complementary approaches as practiced and available.

According to Richard L. Nahin, PhD., NCCIH's, a lead epidemiologist and lead author of the analysis that as a result of those results, many people may turn to non-drug approaches to help manage their pain. “Our goal for this study was to provide relevant, high-quality information for primary care providers and for patients who suffer from chronic pain.” From past 50 years, 105 U.S based randomized controlled trials were reviewed by the researchers, that were relevant to pain patients in the United States and met the inclusion criteria.

The review was focused on U.S based trial that results on seven approaches used for one or more five painful conditions- back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, fibromyalgia and severe headaches or migraine. These were 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.

Though the evidence was weaker, the researchers also found that massage therapy, spinal manipulation, and osteopathic manipulation may provide some help for back pain, and relaxation approaches and tai chi might help people with fibromyalgia. David Shurtleff, Ph.D., deputy director of NCCIH, said that “These data can render the providers and patients with the information which they needed to have informed conversations regarding non-drug approaches for treatment of specific pain conditions”. 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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