The painkiller Bextra was taken off the market Thursday, April 7 after being cited for serious skin reactions in addition to increased risk of heart attack and stroke. As painkillers become less available, people dealing with chronic pain are left searching for other options.
Cancer survivor Christine Fischer has recently been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and is using traditional and non-traditional methods of healing to deal with her condition.
"I've been depending very heavily on complimentary ways of dealing with pain, and I'll say I have been successful," said Fischer.
Some of the alternative approaches she uses include chiropractic, acupuncture, reflexology, reiki, and massage therapy, all of which are aimed at increasing blood flow to the joints and reducing pain.
"Of course the pain element is huge for anyone suffering with chronic pain, it's not fun, and of course with Vioxx and other painkillers being taken off the market, it's imperative that we find new ways to deal with pain," said Fischer.
Reiki Master Janet Holmes agrees and says she believes, "it's important to use different methods because one thing may be right for one person, while another way is better for someone else."
Even though some of these alternative approaches aren't mainstream, chiropractors like Dr. Kem Spaulding of Medicine Wheel say the alternative treatments really work.
"I acupunctured this elderly woman's knees and she called me a few days later and said she's dancing now," said Dr. Spaulding.
Immediate results like that keep clients and doctors pleased. "My work has been a joy," said Spaulding. "To have someone walk in with pain and walk out without pain, that's my reward and it's fabulous."