Pain is one of the most prevalent conditions for which patients seek medical attention. Additionally, the number of patients who utilize complementary and alternative medicine as a treatment of pain either in lieu of, or concurrent with, standard conventional treatments continues to grow. While research into the mechanisms, side effect profiles, and efficacies of these alternative therapies has increased in recent years, much more remains unknown and untested. Herein, we review the literature on complementary and alternative medicine for pain, with particular emphasis on evidence-based assessments pertinent to the most common alternative therapies, including acupuncture, herbal therapy, massage therapy, hypnosis, tai chi, and biofeedback.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is the great imitator1,2. The current medical literature is clear that severe CRPS, particularly CRPS that has been present for several years, is a systemic disease which can manifest in literally any organ system throughout the body. In fact, there is not a single organ system that is known to be immune from the spread of CRPS. Not uncommonly, CRPS can spread from one limb to another and from one organ system to another through interactions between the somatic and sympathetic nervous systems.
Torture is widely practiced throughout the world. Recent studies indicate that 50% of all countries, including 79% of the G-20 countries, continue to practice systematic torture despite a universal ban. It is well known that torture has numerous physical, psychological, and pain-related sequelae that can inflict a devastating and enduring burden on its victims. Health care professionals, particularly those who specialize in the treatment of chronic pain, have an obligation to better understand the physical and psychological effects of torture. This review highlights the epidemiology, classification, pain sequelae, and clinical treatment guidelines of torture victims. In addition, the role of pharmacologic and psychologic interventions is explored in the context of rehabilitation.
A panel of experts in pain medicine and public policy convened to examine root causes and risk factors for opioid-related poisoning deaths and to propose recommendations to reduce death rates.
There appears to be little question that pain represents a significant American public health problem. A recent Gallup poll reported that an estimated 26 million Americans suffer with severe pain, with half of those reporting daily occurrence. Six in ten Americans with severe or moderate pain have lived with the condition for at least seven months. More than half report poor pain control despite having consulted with physicians. Interestingly, four in five Americans believe that aches and pains are a natural part of getting older, and 64% will see a doctor only when they cannot stand the pain any longer.
Teaching in the field of pain medicine seems to be dominated by emphasis on pain as a symptom. This is a natural response to the scientism that dominates our medical training, thinking and practice. The topic of pain and spirituality affords us the opportunity to re-focus our attention on the multidimensional aspects of the pain experience, as many have so eloquently done before. (1,2,3) We introduce our topic by posing several questions:
There is evidence that all types of pain are inadequately managed in the United States and that this was true long before the advent of managed care.37, 39, 42 This situation is likely due to a number of social factors, including the following:
Combined electrochemical nerve block reduced pain in 80% of patients with neuropathies and 50% of patients with intractable back pain.
Electroanalgesic medical treatment involves the use of computer-modulated electronic signals to imitate, exhaust or block the function of somatic or sympathetic nerve fibers.
Acetaminophen is an analgesic (pain reliever) and anti-pyretic (controls fever) medication that is sold over-the-counter — without a prescription. More than 200 pain relievers and cold remedies under various trade names, including Tylenol, contain acetaminophen.