Question:I have had neck pain for quite a while and would like to look into other treatments, like acupuncture, reflexology, or something like that. Is that a good idea?
Answer:When someone has chronic pain, especially if it is affecting quality of life, it can be discouraging to find that traditional medicine may not be as effective as they would hope. Treatment from other cultures, such as from Asia, are often called alternative medicine because they differ from their approach to helping patients with their pain; they provide an alternative form of treatment.
When looking into alternative medicine, it might be best if you consider it to be complementary medicine, which is treatment that can be used along with the traditional western treatments. This may give a patient the best of both worlds.
If you do decide to look into alternative or complementary medicines, it is vital that your doctor know that you are following this path. This is very important to ensure that there are no side effects or cross over of treatment that could end up hurting you.Birgitta Lansinger, MS, PT, et al. Qigong and Exercise Therapy in Patients with Long-term Neck Pain. In SPINE. October 2007. Vol. 32. No. 22. Pp. 2415-2422.
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