Integrative Pain Management
Integrative pain management describes the linkage of traditional (mainstream medicine) and nontraditional approaches (complementary and alternative medicine). Distinguishing “integrative” medicine is its broad therapeutic approach, which combines the best of traditional treatments with the best of complementary or alternative therapies.
Integrative pain medicine is said to be more comprehensive than traditional medicine, because it emphasizes wellness and the healing of the whole person above and beyond the treatment of any specific symptom or disease. It involves the use of safe and effective approaches that are designed to facilitate healing, empowering patients to participate in their own healing process. Integrative medicine acknowledges the complexity of health and illness by identifying numerous causes of disease and multiple interventions based on the physical, biochemical, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of health and disease.
Methods described as integrative include acupuncture, behavioral, chiropractic, homeopathic, hypnosis, and others. Generally speaking, integrative pain management is not the same as interventional pain management, which involves procedural methods for pain control (see Interventional Pain Management).