Chronic pain affects 1.5 billion people in the world. It comes in various forms and from different ailments. It can be debilitating, frustrating, and have a damaging effect on the quality of a person’s life.
While some people turn to a more traditional approach to help ease symptoms of chronic pain, some are considering alternative pain management. People often turn to alternative pain management when other techniques or methods have failed or do not give the response they were hoping for.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain and looking for a different way to healing, keep reading to discover other pain management techniques that could work for you.
A chiropractor works on the spine and other areas of the body to help restore balance. Chiropractors adjust certain parts of the body to help alleviate pain, such as the back, neck, head, and limbs. For those who’ve experienced severe trauma, such as car accidents or sports injuries, seeing a chiropractor can help tremendously with pain management and promote healing.
Being adjusted with a chiropractor has been viewed as somewhat of alternative therapy, but recently has become more widely accepted by medical professionals as they learn more about its benefits. Some people visit chiropractors to keep their body aligned and functioning instead of relying on pain medication.
Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese healing method, consists of inserting thin needles into specific areas of the skin to stimulate the nerves. Doing this releases you from pain. Acupuncture is performed by acupuncturists who specialize in the method.
Even though medical professionals are not clear on exactly how acupuncture works, it’s becoming quite mainstream. The good news is that it’s painless, and if it doesn’t work, no harm is done to the body.
Yoga has roots in ancient India and is practiced heavily today in the United States by as many as 20 million people in 2012. Yoga is the movement of the body that is meant to stretch, lengthen, and tone muscles to provide you with more flexibility.
With increased flexibility comes less pain. In fact, yoga can target diseases from which chronic pain steams, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and various pains in the body, like the back or neck. Aside from physical benefits, yoga focuses on meditation and stress relief which could lead to a decrease in pain.
Biofeedback is a therapy used to help you control bodily functions like heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle relaxation. Biofeedback uses electrodes and signals to monitor heartbeat, sweating, blood pressure and the like.
Using the information from the electrodes, a specialist can suggest techniques to relax these areas of your body. For those with chronic pain, you can identify the areas of discomfort and learn how to relax them.
Essential oils are more than a trend, they date back all the way to Egyptian and Grecian times. These oils can be applied topically, inhaled, or diffused through a diffuser in your home or office. Some essential oils that can help with chronic pain are peppermint, lavender, clary sage, eucalyptus, and rosehip oil.
If you decide to use essential oils as alternative pain relief, do some research to understand how to properly and safely apply them. Some oils are ‘hotter’ than others and need a carrier oil. In addition, pregnant or nursing women need to take caution when using essential oils.
With all the hype surrounding medical marijuana, one thing stands out: marijuana has healing benefits for those with chronic pain. Medical marijuana is marijuana that is prescribed to treat a specific condition or diseases like Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s Disease, and glaucoma to name a few.
Even though marijuana is recommended by those doctors who specialize in it, you must be aware of the laws in your state before taking it. Becoming addicted and experiencing psychosis is a possibility, so talk to your doctor first.
It sounds counterproductive, but exercise as an alternative therapy for pain is a great place to begin. It’s usually free (needing only tennis shoes or the outdoors!) and can be done in a variety of ways. Exercises boost mood and give relief to those with chronic pain.
Stretching (like yoga), cardiovascular, and strengthening exercises are all recommended. Starting slow is best, with a light activity instead of diving into a harsh exercise routine.
Before beginning any physical activity, check with your doctor first, especially if your pain is severe. They can make recommendations based on your situation.
See A Therapist
Surprisingly, chronic pain can derive from conditions like depression, and anxiety and it can be very real. Seeing a cognitive behavioral therapist (CBT) can help.
CBT helps patients view the source of their pain and walks them through a different way of thinking in order to combat the pain. CBT is often not used alone and in conjunction with other therapies listed above. However, CBT is just as effective, if not more so, than other methods.
Supplements or Vitamins
While supplements and vitamins cannot replace medication if necessary, they could give our bodies the boost they need. If your body is lacking a specific vitamin or mineral, it’s not working to its full potential. Fixing this problem could help alleviate chronic pain.
Always speak with your doctor before starting any vitamins or supplements. They can also recommend which ones might work best for you.
Are There Risks With Alternative Pain Management?
Some methods or techniques may be unproven and theory at best. It’s good to exercise caution and speak with your doctor before starting any additional pain management as it could interfere with your current medication or therapy.
Alternative Pain Managment: Give It A Try!
Living with chronic pain can put a serious dent in your life. When you’re in pain, everything from working to family life becomes more difficult. Trying these alternative pain management tips to help with your pain could give you the relief you need to enjoy your life more fully.
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