The intersection between integrative medicine and neuropathic pain: A case report

Document Type

Journal Article

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© 2021 Introduction: Neuropathic pain is a debilitating condition caused by lesion or disease of the somatosensory nervous system. Integrative modalities such as yoga, acupuncture, and massage are evidenced therapies for pain management. Additionally, medical cannabis and cannabinoids are emerging therapies for treatment of neuropathic pain (4,28). The authors of this study report a case of chronic neuropathic pain treated with integrative interventions. Case Presentation: The patient is a 71-year-old female with a past medical history of chronic neuropathic pain in her lower back and legs, degenerative arthritis, restless leg syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, and severe, chronic anxiety, presenting with worsening neuropathic pain. After over a decade of unsuccessful allopathic treatment, the patient sought out a more integrative approach to her pain management. A regimen of acupuncture, massage, gentle yoga, and medical cannabis was recommended. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she was unable to continue most of the integrative modalities and reported a significant increase in pain. The patient then joined a weekly Mind and Body program and began acupuncture treatments again, reporting a steady improvement in pain. Conclusion: The patient's chronic neuropathic pain was effectively treated using an integrative approach, with a combination of acupuncture, massage, yoga, mind-body approaches, and medical cannabis. While this case originally presented similarly to other cases of chronic neuropathic pain, it is unique in that it demonstrates the importance of an individualized complex approach, highlighting the patient's driven engagement in integrative modalities and medical cannabis.