In 2011, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Report stated at least 100 million adult Americans have common chronic pain conditions, a conservative estimate because it does not include acute pain or children. Pain is a significant public health problem that costs society at least $560-$635 billion annually (an amount equal to about $2,000.00 for everyone living in the U.S.)
Conventional treatments include drugs, surgery and physical therapy. Each of these modalities have a place in pain management, but as a last resort. Pain medications do not treat the cause and can easily make a person an addict in short order. Also, pain medications mask pain and often cause additional injuries as the individual aggravates their condition without feedback from the injured area. Surgery can be helpful but also can go horribly wrong. Deadly infections, medical errors, and inappropriate procedures add to and often worsen the condition, or does nothing. For example, a recent study showed that knee surgery for Osteoarthritis was no better than sham surgery to relieve pain.
Natural therapies are safe, effective, and curative in many cases. Acupuncture, osteopathic manipulation, prolotherapy, neuraltherapy, PRP and naturopathic are some of the most effective modalities. In most cases pain reduction can be immediate and coupled with a proper treatment permanent. Even if not curative, pain levels are often reduced substantially over time. In future blogs, each of the above natural therapies will be further explored. Until then, think twice about how you want to treat your pain, and always consider getting a second opinion.