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Using Wellness Approaches to Manage Pain
Monday, June 24, 2013 - 12 Noon (Eastern Time)

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Tanya Edwards, MD

  • Center for Integrative Medicine
  • Cleveland Clinic

William Welches, DO, PhD

  • Department of Pain Management
  • Cleveland Clinic

Pain, pain, go away! And don’t come back another day.

Whether you have persistent back pain, joint pain, headaches or another type of chronic pain, you’re not alone. Chronic pain costs the U.S. economy an estimated $100 billion annually, including healthcare expenses, lost income and lost productivity.

While many patients feel better with conventional pain management treatments, others continue to struggle to live their normal lives. That’s when it can be helpful to combine mainstream therapies with complementary or alternative therapies for which there is scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness.

For example, anti-inflammatory diets, exercise and stress management can help treat most types of pain — or at least make them more tolerable. Other alternative therapies for chronic pain and stress include:

• Acupuncture — inserting hair-thin needles into points of the body to stimulate healing and pain relief.
• Chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation — which can help relieve neck pain, headaches, spinal pain and more.
• Cranial sacral therapy — a gentle, hands-on technique that releases compression in the bones of the head, spine and lower back.
• Massage — which can be used with exercise and education to treat non-specific lower back pain. It can improve blood and lymph flow, relax muscles, and reduce anxiety and depression.
• Mind-body therapies — such as hypnosis, guided imagery, cognitive-behavioral therapy, support groups, meditation and breath work.
• Reiki — which has shown positive results in healing wounds and treating pain, anxiety, arthritis and various orthopaedic conditions.

Learn about these and other ways of relieving pain from Tanya Edwards, MD, from the Center for Integrative Medicine, and William Welches, DO, PhD, from the Department of Pain Management. Together, they will answer your questions and share insights about non-traditional therapies that can complement other treatments for your chronic pain.

Dr. Edwards teaches complementary and alternative medicine courses at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. For the past year, she has been active in integrating complementary medical education into the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. She also provides integrative medicine consultations in Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine. Her interests include inflammation, nutrition for the prevention and treatment of chronic illness, the clinical use of nutraceuticals, and mind-body therapies.

Dr. Welches is a staff physician in the Department of Pain Management and sees patients at South Pointe Hospital and Euclid Hospital. He uses osteopathic manipulation, along with diet therapy, counseling and other programs, to provide patients with comprehensive treatment for their pain. His specialty interests include acupuncture, cranial sacral therapy, visceral manipulation, back and neck pain, pelvic pain, migraines and neuropathic pain.

Learn more:

Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine

Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine is dedicated to addressing the increasing demand for integrative healthcare by researching and providing access to practices that address the physical as well as lifestyle, emotional, and spiritual needs of patients.

As the body of evidence for integrative medicine grows, we remain at the forefront providing the most updated education and practices to patients. Cleveland Clinic's Center for Integrative Medicine sees more than 5,000 patients per year for a variety of services. Our practices and techniques currently offered in Northeast Ohio, include:

• Integrative Medicine Consultations
• Acupuncture
• Group Acupuncture (Shared Acupuncture Medical Appointments)
• Massotherapy (massage)
• Holistic Psychotherapy
• Trim-Life Program
• Spiritual Counseling
• Reiki
• Chiropractic Therapy


Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Pain Management

When chronic pain disrupts your quality of life and does not improve with standard treatments such as aspirin and ibuprofen, Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Pain Management is here to help. Many safe, proven, effective treatments are available to eliminate or reduce chronic pain. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can start enjoying life again.

Our board-certified physicians are dedicated to the goal of helping people with chronic pain return to normal, productive lifestyles. Using the latest in diagnostic technology, paired with medical and interventional therapeutics, they will work with you to identify the source of your pain, eliminate or reduce the pain, and teach you to manage it.

Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Pain Management offers a variety of treatments for pain including:

• Osteopathic manipulation
• Acupuncture
• Anti-inflammatory diet education from Nurse Practitioners
• Cranial-sacral therapy
• Visceral manipulation
• Nerve blocks and injections
• Radiofrequency ablation
• Intradiscal ablation
• Spinal cord stimulators
• Minimally invasive disc decompression
• Tunneled epidural catheters for continuous infusions

This Health Chat will open on Sunday, June 23, 2013 to allow you to submit questions. We will try to answer as many questions as possible during the chat. Please create an account to attend the chat and submit your questions.