Four professions' approach to acute and chronic pain
February 24, 2018
by Taylor Walsh A current metaphor describing the advancement of integrative practices, methods and approaches for pain treatment is often that of a door gradually being wedged open by persistent practitioner advocacy, accumulated evidence and patient demand. The intractable opioid addiction crisis has recently applied serious lubrication to the door hinges that is accelerating this opening. As a session "Integrative Pain Panel: Four Professions' Approach to Acute and Chronic Pain "at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium in New York last week suggested, these doors to recognition and acceptance of non-pharmacologic integrative treatments for pain may well keep opening. Presentations by leaders in acupuncture, chiropractic, naturopathic medicine and expertise on fascia mounted an impressive aggregation of outcomes, treatment successes, safety and cost effectiveness that are rarely presented together: a kind of coherent integrative treatment front. As elsewhere in medicine and healthcare, the ravages of the opioid epidemic, and the pain-prescribing dysfunction that has driven it, have brought professions together. Bill Reddy, L.Ac, board secretary for the Integrative Health Policy Consortium set out successes gained in acupuncture. Gerard Clum, DC, President Emeritus at Life Chiropractic College West, concisely summarized the extensive data describing chiropractic effectiveness. Michael Cronin, ND, laid out a thoroughgoing view of getting to the roots, the deepest roots, of pain to engage the body's natural healing qualities through prolotherapy and platelet therapy. Hal Blatman, MD, explained the still unfolding qualities of the fascia and how its structure when inflamed can lead to pain that can be difficult to locate, much less treat. Their reporting was individually and collectively compelling:
- Reddy reported that the VA has found that using acupuncture for patients suffering from phantom limb pain reduced opioid prescribing by some 80 percent.
- Clum's data went beyond pain management to show that in a large 2017 survey 43.4 percent of patients used chiropractors for "general health and wellness." 64.8 percent said their main reason for selecting a chiropractor was for "therapy and medical treatments."