Nonpharmacologic, complementary, and alternative interventions for managing chronic pain in older adults
Geriatric patients commonly report chronic musculoskeletal pain. The limited benefits of currently available therapies and their high cost has led patients and their healthcare providers to look for alternative management options, particularly for older adults, who are at greater risk of adverse effects and drugdrug interactions. This article reviews the available literature on the safety and efficacy of some popular nonpharmacologic complementary or alternative therapies for alleviating chronic musculoskeletal pain in older adults, particularly back pain, arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia. The authors discuss the conflicting and limited clinical data on the value of various exercise therapies, cognitive-behavioral therapies, and acupunctural therapies in managing chronic musculoskeletal pain, identify areas where further clinical studies are warranted, and provide a table that healthcare providers and patients can use to seek out additional resources about these therapies.