Alternative Therapies for Managing Chronic Pain
Alternative Therapies for Managing Chronic Pain
Alternative Therapies for Managing Chronic Pain is the fifth in a series of ten articles on managing chronic pain from the book, Pain Management by Robert Hoffman.
More and more people are turning to alternative methods to treat their chronic pain. The move is partly due to the expense of medications and treatments, or the fear of dependency on synthetic drugs that can lead to addiction.
Chronic pain is a debilitating condition, preventing many people from doing their day-to-day tasks and enjoying their desired physical activities. If you suffer from chronic pain and are looking at alternative therapies, here are a few that have proven helpful to others:
From Chinese Traditional Medicine, acupuncture has made its way into the mainstream. Conventional medicine has acknowledged acupuncture as a complementary treatment for injuries and other pain management.
Acupuncture involves inserting tiny needles into the skin in different areas of the body. It is believed that these needles enable the release of chemicals that can numb the pain or block the nerves from sending pain signals to the brain. Acupuncture also restores the normal flow of energy in the body, helping to keep your overall health in good condition.
Acupuncture can provide relief to people who have osteoarthritis, back injuries, dental pain, and surgical pain, among others.
When you experience chronic back pain, neck pain, headaches, and other joint pains, it could be due to misalignment of your spinal column. This either directly or indirectly puts pressure on nerves, which respond by sending pain messages to the brain. If you experience these, you might want to see the nearest chiropractor in your area.
Chiropractic care is about realigning your vertebrae to release the pressure on your nerves. Spinal manipulation promotes self-healing, allowing your body to provide relief to the chronic pain you are feeling.
Stress is one of the major causes of pain, so reducing it can provide you with relief and prevention. Yoga is an effective way to help relieve stress and provide many health benefits. It is an ancient Indian meditative practice that uses poses and stretches. It teaches you to breathe properly and connect your mind and body to achieve deep relaxation. Yoga also enhances your flexibility and strength.
Yoga is beneficial in relieving chronic pain due to fibromyalgia, arthritis, neck pain, and back pain.
Tai Chi is another Chinese practice, a martial art form that involves slow movement coordinated with deep breathing. Tai chi helps your body relax, promoting physical and emotional health and providing pain relief. It also helps improve physical functionality, balance, and movement.
It is a great complementary therapy for people who have fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The mind has the ability to influence the body’s functions and symptoms, which is why mind-body therapies work well. Guided imagery is one of these therapies. It involves an expert who will guide you in directing your thoughts and using all your senses so that you can focus on specific images.
Guided imagery helps you relax, reducing cortisol levels in your body, and regulating your heart rate and blood pressure. It also aids in improving your physical function and movement.
Studies have shown that guided imagery helps patients reduce their need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and sleep better at night.
Hypnotherapy has become a popular alternative and complementary treatment for pain management. It puts you in a deep state of relaxation, tapping into your subconscious so you can take control over your body. It reduces pain-related anxiety and the need for opioids and other pain medications.
Hypnosis has been found effective, particularly for people who are dealing with back pain, strain injuries, surgical pain, and even cancer pain.
Biofeedback therapy is another effective alternative method of managing chronic pain, such as headaches and fibromyalgia. This therapy utilizes instrumentation that teaches you how to control physiological responses, such as blood pressure and heart rate.
With the help of a trained health care provider, psychologist or other licensed providers, you first learn to be aware of your physical responses to different stimuli. Then you learn how to use the signals to take charge of those responses.
Nobody wants to suffer from chronic pain, and natural choices exist to help you manage yours. With these alternatives and complementary therapies, you have options that could help you manage chronic pain and improve your quality of life.
Even so, you must do due diligence before you engage in any alternative therapies to make sure that they are right for you. Consult with your doctor so you can make a professionally guided decision.