FYI Health Tip
35 percent of chronic pain suffers turn to alternative forms of therapy.
Chronic pain affects 116 million Americans and, unfortunately, finding the remedy to this pain is not always simple. Just ask any of the millions who take the traditional pain medications and still can’t shake their aches. For that reason, many people turn to alternative medicine, although these helpful methods are not accessible to everyone.
In a recent study, researchers looked at nearly 6,000 patients of various backgrounds who suffer from chronic pain. Overall, they found that 35 percent of these patients turned to alternative therapy to help cope with their pain. A full 25 percent underwent manipulation therapy, such as chiropractic work. To a lesser extent, 13 percent attended relaxation training, while 8.3 percent tried acupuncture.
The study found that people who used alternative medicines were on average younger and more highly educated. Most often, they had tried traditional pain-relief methods and were unhappy with the results before turning to the less conventional therapies.
The most alarming finding is that a large portion of the chronic pain patients were interesting in pursuing alternative medicine, but were unable to do so. As many insurance plans do not cover nontraditional therapies, the less affluent patients could not afford to try these other methods. The researchers advocate finding ways to make pain-relieving therapies such as chiropractic work and acupuncture more accessible to people of all socio-economic backgrounds.
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