NIH Studies Pain Relief Alternatives
Fresh Look At Non-Addictive Methods of Pain Relief
NBC News reports that the National Institute of Health, after an extensive review of alternative methods of pain relief including acupuncture, tai chi, massage, meditation, and yoga, has found that those and other procedures can be just as effective as opioids in relieving symptoms.
The study, which looked at 16,000 patients, focused on the role pain relievers play in our daily lives, and whether or not other approaches could deliver relief without the threat addiction poses when using pharmacological remedies.
Researchers examined the three most common pain complaints: arthritic knees, neck, and lower back, and concluded that, in the case of lower back pain, yoga and acupuncture provided substantial relief. Even though Pilates wasn’t mentioned, I’m assuming that had it been included as a part of the study we’d have been well represented as being both safe and effective.
The research also looked at supplements like glucosamine, and found them to be ineffective in achieving any significant change in joint health, let alone pain relief.
This study began as an effort to find a solution to increasingly common opioid addiction as a result of commonly prescribed pain relief medications, and ended up discovering that safe and effective alternatives, including centuries old exercise based on ancient beliefs, can perform as well or better than modern pharmaceuticals.