Nonpharmacological Options

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Non-pharmacologic options for trauma patients include transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), acupuncture, and relaxation techniques. In general, these therapies tend to be most useful as adjuncts to either nerve blocks or pharmacotherapy or in patients with mild pain. Relaxation techniques such as guided imagery, self-hypnosis, and biofeedback are most beneficial in patients with high anxiety levels, whereas the best candidates for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) and cognitive-behavioral therapies are cognitively intact patients willing to take an active role in treatment. The treatment of coexisting psychopathology is critical to optimizing pain treatment outcomes and should not be underestimated. In fact, long-standing anxiety from poorly managed pain has been associated with depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.

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