Chronic low back pain is prevalent, clinically complex, and exacts a huge cost on the patient, his or her family, and society-at large. Most patients with chronic pain are treated by primary care physicians or specialists such as orthopedists, physiatrists, or neurologists. A small proportion are referred to pain specialists. Pain specialists believe that the best care starts with a comprehensive assessment. Based on this assessment, one or more therapeutic approaches can be selected. Many patients benefit from a multimodality strategy that ideally looks to reduce or eliminate the underlying causes of pain, but regardless is intended to improve comfort and enhance function and quality of life.
More and more, health care providers are recognizing that selected treatments commonly labeled complementary or alternative (CAM) have the potential to help patients with chronic low back pain. Integrative Pain Therapy is a term that can be used to describe the effort to integrate conventional pain management approaches with appropriate CAM therapies. Given the very common use of CAM approaches by patients, it is clear that many have been seeking this kind of integration.
The purpose of this site is to educate patients about the range of therapies-both conventional and CAM-that might be used for chronic low back pain, and to educate health care providers so that they might be encouraged to guide patients to a range of treatments.