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Use of alternative therapies for pain 'increases with age'

Use of alternative therapies for pain 'increases with age'
30th April 2010

People in respite care are more likely to use alternative therapies to treat pain the older they get, according to new research.

One in three of those with chronic pain responding to a University of Michigan Health System survey indicated that they use alternative medicines.

Elderly people used alternative therapies more often than younger adults polled, which provides an insight into how people with chronic pain cope, according to researchers.

Lead study author Carmen Green said: "It helps us understand more about who is using complementary and alternative medicine therapies, and also prompts a discussion on how these methods work and on whom they work best.

"It's helpful for physicians to know that patients are using these therapies so that we can minimise any risks or side effects associated with them."

Earlier this week, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology suggested that physical exercise levels are linked to the development of chronic pain condition fibromyalgia.

They also suggested that this condition becomes more prevalent with age.

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