What complementary and alternative therapies are useful for cancer pain?
Fifty percent to 83% of cancer patients report the use of at least one type of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modality. CAM therapies include osteopathic manipulative treatment or other manual medicine technique (e.g., chiropractic, traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, naturopathy, and homeopathic medicine). Acupuncture, herbs, supplements, and aromatherapy may be effective adjunctive treatments for cancer pain. Manual medicine techniques include physical therapy for bracing or splinting. Relaxation, mindfulness, and stress management programs; movement modalities such as yoga or Pilates; meditation and prayer as well as expressive arts; and support groups are all potential CAM therapies. Patients may embrace CAM as a way of imbuing their cancer treatment with a more integrated and holistic approach.