In This Issue -- Mind and Body Approaches for Health Problems in Military Personnel and Veterans

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Many military personnel and veterans experience chronic pain, a condition that can be debilitating and often difficult to treat. Service members may have other co-morbid conditions that are also challenging to treat including, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, insomnia, and substance use disorder. Opioid medications are often prescribed for chronic pain conditions, but opioid use and misuse has been associated with an increase in hospitalizations and death. A study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine examined the prevalence of chronic pain and opioid use among U.S. soldiers following deployment. The researchers found that of the more than 2,500 participants surveyed, 44 percent had chronic pain and 15 percent regularly used opioids—rates much higher than the general population. An analysis of the National Health Interview Survey published in 2016 found that American veterans experience higher prevalence of pain and more severe pain than nonveterans, with young and middle-aged veterans suffering the most.

Many military personnel, veterans, and their families turn to complementary and integrative health approaches such as mindfulness meditation and other practices in an effort to increase their options for the management of pain and associated problems. This issue of the digest provides a summary of available evidence on complementary health approaches for health conditions of special concern to military, veterans, and their families.


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What the Science Says:
Mind and Body Approaches for Health Problems in Military Personnel and Veterans

Learn what current research has to say about:

Bullet Chronic Pain

Bullet Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Bullet Stress/Anxiety

Bullet Insomnia

Read more »

Additional Resources

Bullet Clinical Practice Guidelines

Bullet For Your Patients

Bullet 8 Things To Know About Mind and Body Approaches for Health Problems Facing Military Personnel and Veterans

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