In 1997, Americans made more than 100 million visits to alternative practitioners for relaxation therapies such as meditation, according to a study by David Eisenberg, MD. Just how meditation relieves pain is not entirely clear, though researchers are beginning to enumerate and examine potential mechanisms.
From a child's scraped knee to a senior's achy joints, pain is a natural part of the human experience. Though pain is manageable through medications, physical therapy, and other treatment options, more than 76 million American adults still report regular pain.
 Annually, 400,000 laparoscopies are performed on patients with endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain. For more information, see Medscape Reference article Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women.
Chronic back pain management can have physical and emotional benefits. Chronic pain's emotional effects include depression, anger, anxiety, and fear of re-injury which may hinder the ability to return to work or once enjoyable activities.
Types of surgical nerve blocks include neurectomy; spinal dorsal, cranial, and trigeminal rhizotomy; and sympathectomy, also called sympathetic blockade (see Nerve Blocks in the Appendix). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (including aspirin and ibuprofen) are widely prescribed and sometimes called non-narcotic or non-opioid analgesics.