Some VA hospitals are trying to address the over-use of pain medications (particularly opioids) with alternative therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, and aquatic therapy. The early results in the hospitals trying these therapies are impressive at reducing the need for pain medication, sometimes reducing the need for medications all together. This is a serious issue, as a 2012 article in the Journal of American Medicine found that veterans of the recent wars with mental health diagnoses (including PTSD) were especially likely to receive opioids for pain, even though they are at the highest risk of abusing those drugs. Julie Franklin, an anesthesiologist who practices pain management at a VA Hospital, said “patients who are addicted or who have problematic opioid use need to be helped to reduce or come off medication that actually may be providing more harm than good for that patient.” Acupuncture can go a long way in that regard.
Click to read the original article on alternative therapies at VA hospitals: “VA Hospital Tries Alternatives to Pain Medications” by Charlotte Albright at NPR.
We all have a duty to our veterans. They protect us in our time of need – we need to step up and protect them when they are in need, and not just with sometimes dangerously overused medications. They deserve better.
Absolute Wellness Center in Eugene, OR provides sports medicine, chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, physical rehabilitation, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and more. If you’d like to learn more about whether our services might benefit you in your recovery, or just to improve your health, give us a call at 541-484-5777.