Pain Awareness Month: Dr. Josephine Briggs on Alternative Approaches to Pain Management

Pain Awareness Month: Dr. Josephine Briggs on Alternative Approaches to Pain Management

[Dr. Briggs speaking] Well I’m the Director of the center that studies complimentary integrative and alternative approaches and these are incredible
important for American’s as part of pain management. People are turning to approaches like massage,
like manual therapy, like acupuncture, like mindfulness, like yoga as part of pain management.
We are very excited about what we are learning because we all recognizes that we need an
approach in addition to drugs to help people with management of pain. Across the NIH a
number of institutes are banding together in the Trans-NIH Pain Consortium. We are very
active members and we are particularly focused a lot of interest in that area in back pain.
Back pain is of course the commonest complaint that brings people to doctors, pain complaint
that bring them to doctors. It drives a lot of the problems we have as a country with
use of opioids, and we need better ways to manage back pain. A very active area for us
and we are just funding a new set of grants in this is partnership with the Veteran’s
Administration on the management of pain in people returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
This is an incredibly important problem is it clear that soldier’s coming out of these
settings often have a lot of chronic pain and fairly high rates of opioid use. There
is enormous enthusiasm in the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense leadership in
studying complimentary approaches to help this vulnerable population. So we are very
delighted to be funding some research in this setting that will really help learn what is
effective, There is a lot of interest in acupuncture, there’s interest in yoga there’s interest
in mindfulness, a form of meditation. So, all of these are mind-body approaches are
ways to change the mental state of the subject and change perhaps brain wiring that modulates
pain. These are really important initiatives for us and we think potentially very important
initiative for Americans with pain. [Music]

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

1 Comment

  1. Dr Briggs- youre a careerist and lack the vision or energetic plan to move pain care forward. You dont seem to care about the ever rising pain from diabetes, or arthritis. NIH has failed the American public when it comes to pain- in point of fact none of NIH has a plan to lower the prevalence of pain. Lets face the facts- pain care suffers from poor leadership and mental laziness- with researchers suffering from the dead weight of past generations. Like Jefferson I believe in the dreams of the future-and not the regressive practices of NIH which serve the occupational strategies of the epistemic communties Briggs, and Koroshetz belong to.

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