Healthcare Provider Strategies
Your healthcare providers may suggest other pain treatments or pain management strategies. Each option should be discussed carefully with your healthcare providers.
Healthcare providers plan your pain treatment by asking important questions. We encourage you to ask your healthcare providers questions too, such as:
- What pain treatments usually work for this type of pain?
- What are the risks and benefits of the treatments being offered?
- What pain management treatments can be used at the same time?
HPRC offers information about specific treatment/management strategies that you may find helpful in your consideration of the various options. Check back periodically, as we will continue to add information about the most common ones.
A printable version of this information can be found here [PDF].
Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine. It often is used for headaches/migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, and back, joint, and chronic pain. Thin needles are inserted into the skin in certain parts of the body that are believed to regulate the body's flow of energy (also known as qi or chi). This InfoReveal from HPRC offers more detail to help you understand this option.
Additional acupuncture resources
This overview of using acupuncture for pain from the American Cancer Society has a brief history of acupuncture, why and how it is used, and additional resources that might be helpful for anyone with pain of any kind.
Acupuncture: An Alternative and Complementary Medicine Resource Guide
The Alternative Medicine Foundation has a lot of information and resources on acupuncture.
Headaches and CAM [PDF)
NCCAM provides this fact sheet about the use of complementary medicine, including acupuncture, to manage headache pain.
The Mayo Clinic provides a brief overview of acupuncture including conditions for which acupuncture might be helpful, risks/benefits, and other information.
Acupuncture for Pain
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) provides an overview of using acupuncture for pain relief. There is information on acupuncture, pain conditions for which acupuncture might be helpful, and current acupuncture research studies.
The University of Chicago Medicine provides a broad overview of acupuncture.
Spinal cord stimulators
Spinal cord stimulators (SCSs) are medical devices implanted around the spinal cord that deliver low-voltage electrical current to block the sensation of pain. SCSs may be helpful for people who are functionally limited by severe, untreatable pain, including pain from failed back surgery, complex regional pain syndrome, and neuropathic pain. Learn about them in HPRC's InfoReveal.
Additional SCSs resources
Patient Information: Spinal Cord Stimulation
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) has put together an overview about spinal cord stimulation, including information about the surgery.
MedlinePlus: Spinal Cord Stimulation
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a summary about SCSs that includes what to expect from the surgery, risks/benefits, and conditions for which the procedure is used.
Spinal Cord Stimulation: An Introduction [PDF]
Dr. Steven Falowski, an expert in spinal cord stimulation at Thomas Jefferson University, prepared this overview and a presentation summary [PDF] of SCSs.