Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Treating Chronic Pain with Complementary Health Approaches: Where’s Reflexology?

Where’s the reflexology? was my first thought when they introduced the story: Complementary health approaches and what they can do for those with chronic pain on the Sept 1, 2016, edition of NBC Nightly News. On closer examination, the study’s focus was limited to what was judged to be  the “most popular complementary health approaches” and “the five painful conditions.”
Research into the impact of reflexology spans a broader range of pain experiences. (See “Reflexology and Pain Reduction.”) 
The study dovetails with “New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (that) urge doctors to take it easy in prescribing the potentially killer drugs (opioids), making it clear that overprescribing is driving an epidemic of opioid addiction.”
The study looked at 50 years of research into the most commonly reported forms of chronic pain and the “most popular complementary health approaches.”
“The review focused on U.S.-based trial results on seven approaches used for one or more of five painful conditions — back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and severe headaches and migraine — and found promise in the following for safety and effectiveness in treating pain:
• Acupuncture and yoga for back pain
• Acupuncture and tai chi for osteoarthritis of the knee
• Massage therapy for neck pain with adequate doses and for short-term benefit
• Relaxation techniques for severe headaches and migraine.”

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