Skip to main content

Sponsored Content

Effective, Opioid-Free Pain Management Options

Oct 10, 2016 04:33AM, Published by Family Features, Categories: Family Features, Family Features Lifestyle

New research is giving pain sufferers a dose of good news. With concerns mounting about the prevalence of opioid use and abuse in the U.S., a new study validates the effectiveness of acupuncture and other non-drug health therapies for pain.

The National Institute of Health's National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health compiled evidence on how complementary health therapies - including acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, massage therapy and relaxation techniques - are effective in treating chronic pain.

The top five pain conditions commonly treated in primary care settings - back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, severe headaches and migraine, and fibromyalgia - were evaluated. The study showed that acupuncture in combination with yoga is the most effective therapy for back pain and acupuncture with tai chi is the most effective treatment for osteoarthritis pain in the knee.

"As addictions to, and deaths from prescription opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone continue to rise, raising awareness on complementary and alternative pain therapies like acupuncture is more important than ever," said Kory Ward-Cook, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). "The research from National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health brings greater attention to the use of acupuncture to treat and relieve chronic pain."

Experts in the field are pointing to the study, which was published in the "Mayo Clinic Proceedings" journal, as a pivotal opportunity in shifting how patients explore treatment for their pain management. The findings support the benefits of non-drug approaches to help those with chronic pain more safely manage their conditions without the harmful side effects of opioids.

The study explored seven widely-used non-drug treatments:

Acupuncture: Using practices derived from traditional Chinese medicine, practitioners stimulate specific points on the body, most often by inserting thin needles through the skin. Nationally Board-Certified practitioners, whose credentials can be verified through the NCCAOM, are affirmed to have the education and training necessary to competently deliver acupuncture therapy. To learn more or find a NCCAOM board-certified practitioner in your area, visit

Spinal manipulation or osteopathic manipulation: This approach involves applying controlled force from hands or a device to move a joint past its normal range of operation with the goal of improving health.

Massage therapy: Using hands (or sometimes forearms or elbows), therapists manipulate muscles and soft tissue to relieve tension and pain.

Tai chi: These mind and body practices involve a series of postures and movements integrated with mental focus, breathing and relaxation techniques.

Yoga: A generally low-impact approach to physical well-being, yoga spans physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation. Practicing certain sets of yoga poses may help reduce pain.

Relaxation techniques: There are several types of relaxation techniques, including meditation, that strive to bring the body to its natural state with slower breathing, lower blood pressure and a feeling of increased well-being.

Natural product supplements: Certain dietary supplements such as chondroitin, glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) and omega-3 fatty acids are commonly used to help treat inflammation often associated with pain.

"Opioids are dangerous, highly addictive and do not treat chronic pain - only mask it," said Bill Reddy, Director of the Integrative Health Policy Consortium and a NCCAOM-certified and licensed acupuncturist. "To solve the opioid epidemic, we must apply the most powerful, innovative approaches to address the root cause of pain within the human body."

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Sponsored by National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Cabarrus Magazine's free newsletter to catch every headline

Family Features Family Features Lifestyle


    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    • Join Cabarrus Veterans Coalition the first Tuesday of each month at Carm’s for free coffee and ...

  • A Vet Together

    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Join Cabarrus Veterans Coalition at Carm's Cafe every Tuesday morning for A Vet Together! Fre...

  • Breathe Easy: Sinus Seminar

    05:30PM — 07:00PM

    Dr. Edward Dickerson, Double Board Certified Facial Plastic & Reconstructive surgeon, will ...

  • Thriller Dance Lessons

    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Ever wanted to learn the King of Pop’s famous Thriller dance? Now’s your chance! Head over to the...


    10:00AM — 11:00AM

    • Free event open to anyone experiencing dementia, their loved ones and/or their care partners. S...

  • CBC Trivia Night


    Cabarrus Brewing Co’s weekly Trivia Night hosted by KanePunch Comedy’s Patrick & Joel is held eve...

  • Namaste and have a Beer

    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us at Twenty-Six Acres every Wednesday for Yoga with Jill Falconer Yoga! Classes are $10 and...

  • Car lovers rejoice! The world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Pennzoil AutoFair presented ...



    • Children from walking age to three years old with caregiver. Songs, stories, finger plays follo...

  • Kannapolis Farmers Market

    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Kannapolis Farmers Market will be held every Thursday, 4-7pm May through September, at the co...

  • Music on Means

    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Music on Means is a free outdoor concert series in Downtown Concord featuring a variety of region...

  • Small Business Saturday

    08:00AM — 09:00PM

    Make a purchase in any of the participating businesses in Downtown Concord and enter a drawing to...

  • Car lovers rejoice! The world’s largest automotive extravaganza, the Pennzoil AutoFair presented ...

  • Piedmont Farmers Market 2017


    • Open year-round. Fresh local produce, honey, free-range eggs, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef...

  • Beth Moore Simulcast

    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    <Fayetteville, NC>– <September 23, 2017>– LifeWay Christian Resources and Living Proof ministries...

  • Duke Dash 5K & Healthfest


    This event at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis will be hosted by the Duke Clinica...

  • CON2

    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    All ages - The worlds of Sci-Fi and Fantasy collide at the library! Come meet special guest of ho...

  • Cold-blooded fun Repticon

    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    This premiere reptile show shares these incredible creatures with the world. Enjoy exhibitions, e...

  • 11th Annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour

    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Sponsored by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market, the 2017 Eastern...

  • Town Theatre's The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    08:00PM — 10:15PM

    Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated feature, The Hunchback of Notre...

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

Get Cabarrus Magazine Delivered to Your Door!

Subscribe today!

Proudly Brought To You By These Community Sponsors