Army on brink of new ways to fight pain

By Michelle Tan – Staff writer
www.armytimes.com

SAN ANTONIO — The Army is reinventing the way it treats pain. Based on 109 recommendations from an Army-led Pain Management Task Force, the Army is seeking to move away from merely dispensing pain medication to embracing a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to caring for soldiers.

This approach could include traditional medications coupled with more unconventional treatments such as massage therapy, acupuncture and yoga.

“Morphine is an extremely valuable tool, but when it’s your only tool in your toolbox, you run into the problem of monolithic thinking,” said Col. (Dr.) Trip Buckenmaier, director of Army Medical Command’s Defense and Veterans Center for Integrated Pain Management. “[This is just] a means of providing a variety of different techniques that have proven worth and bringing those techniques to the patient.” More…