Pain medicine specialist Prof Rollin Gallagher speaks at a
medical conference in Dunedin. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Every GP should learn acupuncture as a basic pain relief
tool, clinicians at a medical conference in Dunedin were told
Keynote speaker at the New Zealand Pain Society's annual
scientific meeting in Dunedin was Prof Rollin Gallagher, from
the University of Pennsylvania. A pain medicine specialist,
he edits the academic journal Pain Medicine.
Acupuncture was effective and non-toxic, but most GPs had no
training in the technique. He also spoke in favour of yoga.
By using alternative techniques, opioid use could be reduced.
Those with chronic pain must be reassured they would not be
abandoned by the system, which had to find cost-effective
ways to provide long-term support, Prof Gallagher said.
He spoke about the success of a war veterans' health
programme in the United States which reduced opioid use
through educating providers to use other techniques.