Adjuvant and alternative analgesia

Revista brasileira de anestesiologia (Impact Factor: 0.51). 11/2006; 56(5):530-55.
Source: PubMed


Although acute and chronic pain are usually controlled with pharmacological interventions, 14 complementary methods of adjuvant and alternative analgesia (AAA) may reduce the abusive prescription of analgesics and the side effects that eventually compromise the patient's physiological status.
The action of every analgesic mechanism is through the spinal gate of Melzack and Wall and/or through signal transduction in the central neurotransmission and neuromodulation systems related to analgesia, relaxation, and mood: peptidergic, monoaminergic, gabaergic, cholinergic, and cannabinoid. Complementary adjuvant analgesia is normally used in physiatric, orthopedic, rheumatologic, and obstetric treatments and acupuncture. It can potentiate conventional analgesic methods: exposure to the morning sunlight; light and colors under artificial light; time (T) - more potent general anesthetics at night, opioids in the morning, and local anesthetics in the afternoon; diet; good spirits and laughter; spirituality, religion, meditation; music therapy; hypnosis; and placebo effect.
If acute pain is a defense mechanism, chronic pain is a disagreeable pathologic state related to endogenous depression and poor quality of life. It is important to establish interdisciplinary relationships between adjuvant and alternative medicine in classic analgesic and anti-inflammatory therapies.

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