According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Pain is cited as the most common reason Americans access the health care system and it is a leading cause of disability and a major contributor to health care costs in the United States. Combine that with the recent concern from the CDC over prescription opioid abuse and it sets people up for a perfect storm. The amount of opioid prescriptions in our country has quadrupled since the turn of the century and with it, we have seen an increase of deaths due to overdose. It is a real problem and the American Medical Association is quite concerned over the trend as are we all. A recent study from March 2018 in the JAMA concluded there is no significant difference in pain levels after 12 months of opioid vs non-opioid therapies for chronic back, knee and hip pain. Very interesting to say the least and it makes me question why the push to prescribe pain medications before trying other therapies which have fewer side effects and prove to be very effective also?
What if there was a more natural way to deal with pain? What if integrative approaches proved to be just as effective if not more so than their prescription counterparts? There is real hope for those who suffer with chronic pain. Integrative means "combining allopathic (ie: traditional medical treatment) and complementary therapies." So when we discuss an integrative approach to something, we are combining those things traditionally used along with therapies which compliment those traditional therapies. Some examples may include massage, reflexology, relaxation, herbal medicine, essential oils and acupuncture. Please note here, that complementary means it is used in ADDITION to as opposed to alternative therapies which offer a replacement for traditional medicine. I am in no way suggesting we throw out modern medicine and the advances which have been made over the past several decades. What I am suggesting is that there are several approaches to dealing with pain, whether acute or chronic, which may assist the body in healing itself. After all, getting to the root cause of the problem regardless of what it is, provides the best outcome in most cases.
If you are curious about learning more about an Integrative Approach to Pain, please join me along with a group of health care practitioners as we explore various methods to deal with pain that involves "thinking outside of the box." We will be meeting at 7:00 PM at CPW Health Center in Toledo on Wednesday, May 2nd. We will be discussing acupuncture, therapeutic exercise including aquatics, massage therapy, nutrition, and essential oils and teaching how each of these can assist individuals in dealing with pain. One thing is for sure! We are all unique and have a unique set of circumstances. There is never a "one size fits all" mentality with pain issues. Keeping your options open is paramount and we will help you explore some new choices for you! This is a free, educational symposium open to the public. Seating is limited and registration is required so click here to save your seat!