According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019 more than 7 percent of adults experienced pain that kept them from normal daily activity. More than 20 percent of adults reported chronic pain.
Pain stems from a variety of causes, including injuries and certain health conditions. No matter the reason, those who suffer from it are always on the lookout for pain relief.
Pain, especially chronic pain, can affect other aspects of your health. It impacts sleep patterns, mental wellness, energy, concentration, and appetite. So it makes sense that finding the right pain remedy is vital.
When pain relief drugs aren’t providing the relief you need, it’s time to look at some alternative pain relief options. Keep reading to find out what they are.
1. Mind-Body Therapy
This kind of therapy aids the brain in changing the way it views pain, thereby changing the way you function with it. The practice itself is also a viable way to alleviate pain associated with a range of health problems.
A few examples of mind-body therapy are tai chi, yoga, guided imagery, and meditation. These relaxation techniques can help you focus your brain away from pain, but they also work to relieve pain without medication.
You might wonder how having multiple small needles inserted into your skin can possibly play a role in pain relief. After all, it sounds like it would cause more pain, right?
Studies have found that acupuncture can have a positive effect on pain caused by many health issues. With that in mind, it’s rapidly becoming a more mainstream approach to pain management.
Initial research finds that acupuncture may numb the nerve endings, which will ease the pain. That includes the pain associated with injuries and health conditions.
3. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is often combined with pain relief drugs and is an effective way to treat pain caused by injuries and health problems.
Your physical therapist will design a series of exercises specific to the pain you’re dealing with. These moves will increase stability and mobility, helping restore function and reduce pain.
4. Therapeutic Touch
This might be as simple as getting a massage. Massage is linked to reduced feelings of pain because it boosts blood flow and reduces stress.
Other methods of therapeutic touch are also beneficial. Reiki healing, for example, promotes self-healing. It can also have a positive effect on reducing stress levels. A pain specialist is a great resource for more information.
5. Diet and Meal Planning
The act of eating a nutritious meal will make you feel better, both mind and body. That often translates to more control over pain.
While the research on this is limited, it makes sense that feeding your body healthy foods will make it feel better. An anti-inflammatory diet may be linked to reduced pain in people with fibromyalgia.
If you’d like to give meal planning for pain a try, talk to a dietician to determine which foods to include and which to avoid.
Getting the Most Out of Alternative Pain Relief
To get the most out of your chosen method of alternative pain relief, it’s important to stick with it. Unlike pain medication, you may not notice the benefits right away.
In some cases, using more than one method is going to provide the most relief. Your doctor can help you choose the right options for you.
In the meantime, read our other articles about staying healthy and happy.