NIH and VA address pain and related conditions in U.S. military personnel, veterans, and their families: Research will focus on nondrug approaches.
Chronic pain and associated conditions have increasingly become a problem in the United States, especially in those who are currently serving or have served military time for our country. Thirteen research projects, which are to be funded $21.7 million within the next five years by the U.S. Veteran’s Affairs, National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and National Institute on Drug Abuse, will investigate non-pharmacological treatments for these conditions. Due to the current increase in opiate prescribing and abuse, alternative options are to be further explored. The research will investigate skills which can better manage symptoms of their conditions and prevent their progression. This is expected to help more appropriately treat these patients while driving down healthcare costs and curbing the overuse or misuse of opiate medications.
What do you think about the current opiate prescribing practices in this patient population? How do you currently manage patients with pain and related conditions?
For additional information, please visit NIH.
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A new systematic review published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, analyzed data from close to 18,000 patients with various types of chronic pain. Researchers found that patients who had undergone acupuncture were in less pain than those who had”sham” acupuncture treatment (a control method for acupuncture in which needles were improperly placed) or did not get any treatment at all. Many conventional clinicians are skeptical about acupuncture treatments believing it is simply a placebo effect. Based on the results of this meta-analysis, the difference between true acupuncture and sham technique is relatively modest, but statistically significant. What are your thoughts on acupuncture? Have you found any other modalities that help your patients with chronic pain?
For more information, visit Archives of Internal Medicine.