Sunday, November 1, 2015

Research in Chronic Pain health care: The Movement toward Integrative Medicine as Non-Drug treatment approaches and Teaching Self-Care therapy


Why are we looking for non-drug approaches to chronic pain?  Dr. Schoomaker explains in this March 2015 interview.  Opioid dependence and death from accidental overdose is higher than death from motor vehicle accidents.  He also discusses how complementary medicine (which includes TAM/TCM) can be stand-alone treatment for chronic pain or used as a complement to conventional treatment.

Movement toward more non-drug pain management options, especially for chronic pain in military and veteran population.  "ancient approaches . . . are actually quite effective"--Schoomaker. 
New research and study collaborations in non-drug (non-pharmacological) pain management treatment options started in 2014.  These studies include collaborations between VA and NCCIH and some DoD sites.  The grant funders are looking to support projects that look at non-drug pain management options that include teaching patients self-care as well as hands-on treatment and interventions.  This includes looking at movement therapy, including tai chi and yoga, for self-care pain management.  Guided imagery and music therapy are also on the list.  Related therapies that are regularly used as part of Traditional Asian Medicine treatment include:  movement therapy (tai chi and qi gong), guided imagery (qi gong), acupuncture, and medical massage therapy (tuina).

For more information, see this youtube video of Dr. Eric Schoomaker discussing collaboration of National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Reference:  The February 2015 related press release by the National Advisory Council on Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) discusses the research initiatives.

Related blogposts:
Pain Management:  What is the Army Pain Management Task Force?
November 2014 Pain medicine article review
Music and Healing
Resource:  HeartMath to MBSR
NBC news clip on review of acupuncture studies:  "acupuncture works"
2012 research review:  Opioid use in Veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq

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