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Publication Date

11-20-2015

Keywords

integrative medicine, chronic pain, management, biopsychosocial, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, tai chi

Abstract

The National Institute of Medicine revealed that chronic pain affects more than 100 million adults in the United States, citing chronic pain as the leading reason patients seek medical care. Pain is also an extremely costly problem, with $635 billion per year spent nationally, more than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined. The biomedical model of chronic pain management has largely revolved around the use of narcotic analgesics for pain control. Unfortunately, this corresponds to a growth in the rate of abuse, misuse and overdose of these drugs. Additionally, there is an inherent failure rate to the myriad procedures used to control pain, such as spinal epidural injections and insertion of indwelling narcotic delivery systems, largely because these procedures fail to comprehensively address the multiple facets of pain generation. With its roots in the biopsychosocial model of pain management, traditional Chinese medicine may be a useful systematic or adjunct approach in the management of chronic pain.

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