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Can alternative therapies really help ease chronic pain?

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Can alternative therapies really help ease chronic pain?

Close up of yoga outdoor at sunset.

Chronic pain, which is often defined as pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks, affects about one in three adults in the US. For many women, chronic pain is a part of normal, everyday life – especially migraines, facial, pelvic and lower back pain. To help manage prolonged pain, doctors have resorted to prescribing opioids, sometimes in very high doses. However, there are a number of potential alternative therapies that can help treat chronic pain, such as meditation, acupuncture, and physical therapy.

Earlier this month, a study was published evaluating whether alternative therapies are effective in reducing pain. According to the study, meditation, hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy were found most useful. A recent NPR article about this study featured the special case of one woman who used meditation ease her pain, which resulted in reducing the opioid dose she needed by 75%. Learn more about this inspiring story and the study here.