For the more than 25 percent of U.S. adults with chronic pain, conventional treatments don't always provide total relief. Alternative therapies can help bridge the gap. Three that offer promising results...

Painful condition: Tension headaches
Alterna-Treatment: Acupuncture
After just six to 15 acupuncture treatments, study participants reported that the number of days they experienced tension headaches was cut in half, report researchers at Technical University of Munich in Germany. Check with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to locate a certified acupuncturist.

Painful condition: Knee osteoarthritis
Alterna-Treatment: Tai chi
An hour of tai chi twice a week for three months reduced pain by 75 percent among patients with severe knee osteoarthritis, according to a study from Tufts University School of Medicine. Look for classes at gyms, hospitals, or community centers. Or practice at home (Netflix has more than 6,000 tai chi DVDs).

Painful condition: Backache
Alterna-Treatment: Alexander technique
Research published in the British Medical Journal found that patients trained in Alexander technique, which teaches proper posture and everyday movement habits to reduce strain, experienced an average of 18 fewer days of back pain over four weeks. Go to to find an instructor in your area.

NEXT: Worrisome side effects of prescription drugs


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