Integrative and Complementary Medicine: Current Evidence and Challenges in Relation to Pain and Inflammation

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032). This special issue belongs to the section "Health Assessments".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 2760

Special Issue Editor

Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv, Israel
Interests: complementary medicine; complementary & alternative medicine; acupuncture; infection

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Chronic pain and inflammatory processes pose a heavy toll on human health and are involved in a variety of pathologies, including autoimmune diseases and even carcinogenesis. Furthermore, chronic inflammation is now recognized as one of the hallmarks of cancer. It is estimated that one-fifth of cancers is caused by chronic inflammation.

As pain in patients is a complex phenomenon, with different etiologies, varying presentations (e.g., neuropathic, musculoskeletal and inflammatory pain) and duration (acute vs. chronic pain), and as pharmacological treatments of pain at times provide a limited relief and are associated with adverse effects, patients turn to complementary and integrative medicine modalities:  acupuncture, hypnosis, herbal medicine, massage, reflexology, shiatsu, qi gong, yoga, etc.

Pain management requires an interdisciplinary approach and should include both pharmacologic, and nonpharmacologic treatments, that address biopsychosocial aspects of pain. A recommendation issued in 2019 by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Advancing Pain Research Through the NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative, concluded that due to the dual national crisis of inadequate pain management and opioid misuse and addiction, major research projects should focus on specific pain conditions, and on non-pharmacologic pain treatments, led by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

This Special Issue is soliciting original research articles, short reports and reviews that study the effect of complementary and integrative medicine modalities in pain and inflammation, in order to provide grounds to clinicians and policy makers, for a better integration of these modalities in patients' care.

Dr. Dorit Gamus
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (2 papers)

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Review

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13 pages, 507 KiB  
Review
Integrative Medicine for Cancer-Related Pain: A Narrative Review
Healthcare 2024, 12(3), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12030403 - 04 Feb 2024
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Abstract
Cancer-related pain (C-RP) is a prevalent and debilitating concern among patients with cancer, with conventional treatments limited in their ability to provide adequate relief, and by the adverse effects associated with their use. Complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) modalities have been shown to [...] Read more.
Cancer-related pain (C-RP) is a prevalent and debilitating concern among patients with cancer, with conventional treatments limited in their ability to provide adequate relief, and by the adverse effects associated with their use. Complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) modalities have been shown to be potentially effective and safe for the treatment of pain and related symptoms, when used in conjunction with conventional medications and under medical supervision. An increasing number of oncology centers provide CIM within their conventional supportive and palliative care service, in an “Integrative Oncology” (IO) setting. A large body of clinical research, including systematic reviews and guidelines such as those published in 2022 by the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO), in collaboration with the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), support the use of some CIM modalities for C-RP and related concerns. These include acupuncture for general and peri-operative/procedural pain, as well as aromatase inhibitor-associated arthralgia (AIA); reflexology or acupressure for pain during systemic therapy for cancer; hypnosis for procedural pain or pain due to diagnostic workup; and massage for pain experienced by patients during palliative and hospice care. Further research is needed, within both randomized control trials and pragmatic non-controlled studies which are more reflective of the real-life IO setting. This review summarizes the evidence supporting the use of CIM for C-RP; the analgesic mechanism of the modalities presented; and the challenges facing IO researchers, as well as the implementation of the 2022 SIO-ASCO guideline recommendations. Full article
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17 pages, 1193 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture on Suicidal Behavior: A Systematic Review
Healthcare 2023, 11(7), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11070955 - 27 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1877
Abstract
In situations where death by suicide is a major global issue and effective prevention and management approaches are lacking, acupuncture improves some risk factors for suicide, including depression, and it has been used for a long time in clinical settings. Herein, we aimed [...] Read more.
In situations where death by suicide is a major global issue and effective prevention and management approaches are lacking, acupuncture improves some risk factors for suicide, including depression, and it has been used for a long time in clinical settings. Herein, we aimed to assess the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture in the treatment of suicidal behaviors. Fourteen electronic databases were searched for studies published up to 7 September 2022. Original interventional studies of acupuncture in suicide prevention were included. The primary outcome was the validated measure of suicidal ideation. The risk of bias in the included studies was assessed using an appropriate assessment tool. Due to the heterogeneity of the included studies, only qualitative analyses were conducted. Eight studies on manual acupuncture (50%), electro-acupuncture (37.5%), and acupressure (12.5%) were included. In particular, three studies (37.5%) used the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association protocol to stimulate the bilateral sympathetic, Shenmen, kidney, liver, and lung auricular points. Acupuncture was effective in direct and indirect outcomes related to suicidal behavior, not only for participants with suicidal behavior, but also for those with other conditions, including depression. A decrease in salivary cortisol was the only biological indicator of acupuncture in patients with suicidal ideation. However, the methodological quality of the included studies was not optimal. In conclusion, acupuncture may reduce the risk of suicidal behavior in clinical and non-clinical populations. Owing to clinical heterogeneity, low methodological quality, and the small number of included studies, further high-quality studies should assess the effectiveness of acupuncture. Full article
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