What Is Pain?
Pain is actually an unpleasant physical sensation which we feel through a brain-derived phenomenon. Messages from the disturbed area are carried in the form of nerve impulses to the centers in the brain. The brain interprets them and sends them back to make us aware of the pain in that particular region. We can never become aware of the painful sensation if our brain is not involved in all this process. Then we will not be able to identify the disorder causing the pain and, hence, no remedy or recovery will be there. So, we can say that pain is actually a blessing informing us of the disorders in our body.
What Is a Chronic Pain?
Pain becomes chronic when it prolongs from three to six months or more without any signs of recovery. There are a number of such cases which we come across in our routine life, the most common of them are:
Gastrointestinal pain, Arthritis, Neuropathic pain, Headaches, Sickle Cell Anemia, Cancer pain, Dental pain, Back pain, sciatic pain, Fibromyalgia, Phantom limb pain, Myofascial pain, Endometriosis pain, Musculoskeletal pain, etc.
What Is an Integrative Pain Management?
It means combining conventional medical treatments with Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies. Conventional medical treatments include drugs, surgery, medical devices, etc. whereas CAM has a four-dimensional approach.
- Mind-Body Therapies such as meditation, hypnosis, relaxation training, etc.
- Movement-Based Therapies such as yoga, tai chi, etc.
- Nutritional Therapies such as dietary supplements, etc.
- Energy Therapies such as Reiki, etc.
Thoughtfully integrated with the usual medical treatment, some or many of these CAM therapies can help you manage pain and feel better overall. A good Integrative Pain Institute may serve you excellently in this regard.
More about Integrative Pain Management
This is actually a broad approach covering a lot of areas as mentioned above. It always plays a vital role combined with the regular medication and the patient improves and even recovers quickly. Sometimes, the term CAM is used to indicate a non-medical treatment. It can work either on its own or as part of an integrative program that works best for the patient. Considering the importance of CAM therapies, The U.S. Government founded The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) in 1998. This center conducts very deep research into the use and effectiveness of CAM therapies and trends. It has miraculously enhanced the knowledge and trust of general public towards CAM therapies. Only in the U.S.A., more than one-third of the adults and 12% of the children use CAM therapies in a given year. The Americans spend about $34 billion annually for CAM therapies like massage, acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic and others. If the nutritional therapies like dietary supplements are also included, the percentage of adults increases over fifty percent. Followings are the most popular integrative CAM therapies being used for chronic pain by most of the adults nowadays.
Mind-Body Therapies: Guided imagery, Progressive relaxation, deep breathing.
Movement-Based Therapies: Massage, Yoga, Chiropractic and Osteopathy.
Nutritional Therapies: Fish oil, Ginseng, Glucosamine, Garlic, Combination herbal pills, flaxseed, Coenzyme Q10.
Hence, it can be concluded that Integrative Pain Management plays a key role in reducing, controlling or removing a chronic pain.