In an effort to find relief from your pain, you may have tried or at least considered some form of complementary or alternative medicine.
Do these methods really work? Are they safe? What is complementary and alternative medicine anyway?
COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE (CAM)
Complementary and alternative medicine includes a wide range of healing beliefs, approaches, and therapies that are not widely taught in medical schools, used in hospitals, or covered by health insurance.
Alternative medicine refers to therapies or healing approaches used by the therapies in place of traditional medicine. Complementary medicine refers to unconventional medical practices used in addition to the treatments recommended by the doctor.
Alternative and complementary therapies are not new; some have been around for thousands of years. Their use has become popular as more people are taking greater control of their health.
The most common reasons for using complementary and alternative medicine are for treatment of anxiety and pain. Several treatments appear to relieve stress and reduce pain safely. The power of such therapies is the healing that they can promote – healing in the sense of finding comfort, joy, and purpose in living with a problem such as chronic pain.
Many of these therapies have gained acceptance within mainstream medicine, but other products and practices remain unproven because they have not been studied sufficiently.
This chapter provides information, in alphabetical order, on the more common complementary and alternative treatments promoted for pain management. You should be aware that not all techniques work for everyone. What works a friend may not be the key to your recovery. You may also know instinctively that a certain technique is not for you, while you can adapt to others quite well. Or, you may be someone who wants to try everything once to get a feel for what works and what does not.
Source: Prairie Spine and Pain Institute, Dr. Richard A. Kube II, MD.