Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Many people around the world use health care approaches that were developed outside conventional allopathic medicine. More than 30% of adults in the United States, with similar numbers in Europe, utilize complementary health approaches [20,47]. Chronic pain, particularly musculoskeletal pain, is one of the most common reasons for individuals to use complementary health care approaches. It is estimated that more than 40% of individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain try some form of complementary therapy [21].

Chronic pain has become a health crisis in the United States and around the world. It is estimated that the prevalence of chronic pain (defined as chronic, recurrent, or long-lasting pain continuing for at least 6 months) is more than 30% in women and more than 25% in men [39]. Pain is most commonly treated using pharmacotherapy, but with the growing opioid epidemic, it is important to examine the use of nonpharmacological therapies to treat pain.

Rather than giving an overview of all complementary practices, this course will focus on three nonpharmacological approaches to treating chronic pain that have shown significant clinical effects— cognitive-behavioral therapies, manual therapies, and yoga therapy—and discuss mechanisms that may underlie their effectiveness.


This information was presented as a refresher course at the 2018 IASP World Congress on Pain in Boston, Massachusetts.

© 2018 IASP Press; made available here with publisher permission

Originally published:
Pain 2018: Refresher Courses, 17th World Congress on Pain, Michael S. Gold, Esther M. Pogatzki-Zahn, Mark S. Wallace, editors, IASP Press, Washington, D.C. © 2018



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.