PORTSMOUTH -- Marching around or getting shot at isn't easy, as anyone who's ever served in the military knows. But, imagine having to do all that while suffering from chronic, debilitating pain.
More than 250 military medical practitioners are meeting this week at the Pain Care Skills Training seminar, co-sponsored by the Wounded Warrior Pain Care Initiative, to study non-traditional treatments for pain.
The hope is to provide relief to patients and at the same time improve military readiness, because a sick soldier can't fight.
Military doctors, nurses, corpsmen and medical technicians are learning to use ultrasound technology to more accurately pinpoint the root sources of pain. In addition, in an effort to get away from simply prescribing powerful anti-pain medications, the medics are turning towards holistic pain management treatments such as acupuncture, massage and yoga.
'What we're trying to work for is to get our patients who are active duty back to where they're able to do their mission,' said CDR James Houston, Director of Wounded Warrior Pain Care.
CDR Anthony Tucker is a Pain Medicine Physician at Naval medical Center Portsmouth. He said, 'We have a high operational tempo. And we need to have our sailors, our soldiers in the best condition physically to accomplish their mission and that is to defend the country. So, if we can help modify pain, they can better perform their missions.'