In This Issue -- Complementary Health Approaches for Chronic Pain

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This issue of the digest summarizes current scientific evidence about the complementary health approaches most often used by people for chronic pain, including fibromyalgia, headache, irritable bowel syndrome, low-back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

The scientific evidence to date suggests that some complementary health approaches may provide modest effects that may help individuals manage the day-to-day variations in their chronic pain symptoms. While some complementary approaches do show modest benefit depending on the approach and pain condition, in most instances, though, the amount of evidence is too small to clearly show whether an approach is useful.


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What the Science Says:
Complementary Health Approaches for Chronic Pain

Learn what current research has to say about:

Bullet Fibromyalgia

Bullet Headache

Bullet Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Bullet Low-Back Pain

Bullet Neck Pain

Bullet Osteoarthritis (OA)

Bullet Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Read more »

Additional Resources

Bullet Clinical Practice Guidelines

Bullet Scientific Literature

Bullet For Your Patients

Bullet 6 Things You Should Know: The Science of Chronic Pain and Complementary Health Practices

Visit NCCIH’s website to read the full issue of this month’s Clinical Digest

NCCIH Clinical Digest is a service of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NCCIH Clinical Digest, a monthly e-newsletter, offers evidence-based information on complementary and integrative health, including scientific literature searches, summaries of NCCIH-funded research, fact sheets for patients, and more.


NCCIH is 1 of 27 institutes and centers at the NIH. The mission of NCCIH is to define, through rigorous scientific investigation, the usefulness and safety of complementary and alternative medicine interventions and their roles in improving health and health care. For additional information, call NCCIH’s Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCIH Web site at