Establishing a research agenda for investigating alternative medical interventions for chronic pain

Source: Prim Care 1997 Dec;24(4):743-58

This article describes the University of Maryland School of

Medicine’s Center for Complementary Medicine Research approach

to developing an agenda for investigating alternative medical

treatments for chronic pain syndromes. This agenda includes

conducting extensive literature searches and analyses to form

a knowledge base for making clinical decisions on which

chronic pain syndromes are in greatest need of better

therapies, as well as which alternative medical therapies

offer the greatest therapeutic promise for these specific

chronic pain syndromes. To date, the Center has identified

back pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia as the chronic pain

syndromes that contribute the greatest clinical and economic

burden to overall chronic pain statistics. Not coincidentally,

patients with these diagnoses are the greatest users of

alternative therapies. The Center has identified acupuncture,

homeopathy, manual/manipulative therapies, and mind-body

therapies as the alternative medical therapies offering the

greatest clinical potential for these three general chronic

pain diagnoses. Preliminary data from the Center’s ongoing

clinical trials programs are presented.

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