As pain physicians, we often face chronic pain patients who are unable to achieve adequate pain control with medications due to comorbidities, intolerable side effects or loss of efficacy, who no longer respond to interventional pain procedures, and who are also not surgical candidates. These patients continue to suffer from debilitating chronic pain, and their question is often simple but somewhat desperate: “Do I have other options?”

Recent data have shown that approximately 38 percent of U.S. adults and 12 percent of children use health care modalities that differ from conventional medicine for medical treatment or overall health maintenance. In general, these nonconventional health care modalities are described in three terms: 1) complementary medicine refers to using a nonconventional modality in combination with conventional medicine; 2) alternative medicine refers to using a nonconventional modality in substitution of conventional medicine;...

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