Integrative Medicine Approach to Chronic Pain [chapter]

Stephen Dahmer, Raymond Y. Teets, Emilie Scott
2012 Culture, Brain, and Analgesia  
Chronic pain is a common reason for patients to seek medical care. Its cause is generally complex and multifactorial. Patients try various management options with limited or no improvement. Integrative medicine (IM) can offer a means to develop a more comprehensive treatment approach for patients with chronic pain. This approach elicits a broader picture of the patient's condition and combines conventional medicine with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Immediate and complete relief
more » ... of chronic pain may be an unrealistic goal, and so it is important to establish appropriate goals of care in the treatment of chronic pain. The following 3 goals are an important starting point when addressing chronic pain: Addressing the patient's pain in the context of the patient's life situation, what Giordano and colleagues 1 refer to as the "patient-specific context" 2. Ameliorating the patient's pain and/or improving quality of life 3. Improving the patient's risk profile by diminishing their need for polypharmacy, invasive interventions, and unproven alternative therapies. THE PROCESS An IM history includes a conventional history and inquires about nutrition, social support, work, exercise, and stress-relieving strategies. A spiritual history is also included, as well as the patient's conception of their clinical situation. In addition,
doi:10.1093/med/9780199768875.003.0028 fatcat:wbizoannaffy7aeomca7fq73je