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Efficacy of selected complementary and alternative medicine interventions for chronic pain

Gabriel Tan, PhD, ABPP, et al.

We review published research on commonly used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches to treating chronic pain. Our findings show that CAM therapies, as a group, have a mixed track record of efficacy. The modalities that have the best track records for pain management include biofeedback, hypnosis, and massage (mostly for low back pain and shoulder pain). In selecting a CAM modality, practitioners must weigh the pros and cons and tailor the interventions to the needs of patients with chronic pain. Other issues relevant to practitioners include additional time and energy investments, need for specialized training to administer the modality, side effects or potential toxic effects, safety in combining CAM and other modalities, likely acceptance by clients and the public, and ease of incorporation into traditional pain management practices.


Volume 44 Number 2 2007
Pages 195 — 222


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