A University of Michigan survey has determined that 33 % of people with chronic pain reported using alternative and complimentary therapies including chiropractic treatment and acupuncture for pain relief.


Carmen Green, MD, professor of anesthesiology and obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan found this treatment approach is attracting people with college education and higher incomes, or could be a result of insurance coverage differences.


Also, overtime in the later decades, there is a greater likelihood that people with experience chronic pain, so the likelihood of seeking these treatments increases.


The study was published in Pain Medicine, notes the significance and importance of complementary and alternative medicine, its increasing usage, safety concerns and economic impact.


To track the relationship between pain and alternative medicine, researchers evaluated the  differences in chronic pain treatment in 5,750 adults during a 6 year period. The patients’ medical history, physical and social health characteristics, socioeconomic status and pain.


The types of alternative therapies evaluated included chiropractic, biofeedback and acupuncture.  They are the three alternative therapies most commonly used by chronic pain patients.


“This research may provide important new insights into the use of alternative therapies for people living with chronic pain.  It helps us understand more about who is using CAM therapies and also prompts a discussion on how these methods work and on whom they work best,”     Dr. Green noted.


Of the almost 6,000 patients involved in the study, 35 per cent reported using at least one form of Cam therapy with 25 Percent using chiropractic techniques, 13 percent using biofeedback and 8 percent utilizing acupuncture.


Chronic pain doubles the likelihood of seeking alternative medicine treatment and decreased access to and negative perceptions regarding pain treatment, may be one of the primary reasons that people seek this type of therapy. 


Dr. Green concluded, “Unfortunately patients are often reluctant to share information regarding alternative therapy usage with health care providers, but discussions and awareness of alternative therapy use in pain patients may improve the quality of pain care and patient safety.”


Source:  http://www.sciencedaiy news.com/releases/2010/100429082405.htm