Whether you’re dealing with acute or chronic pain, life is too short to live with ongoing discomfort.
To cope with pain, many people use medications which dull the nerves. Aspirin, NSAIDs, and opiates are common ways to relieve pain.
The only problem with medication-based coping mechanisms is that the relief soon dissipates. Pills provide temporary solutions for a problem which may have permanence.
Instead of spending a fortune on pain-killers or risking addiction by taking opiates for pain, try these alternative therapies which are proven to work. Although you may find that only some of them are effective for you, they are all worth attempting.
Best Alternative Therapies for Pain Relief
This alternative therapy helps to relieve pain caused by a variety of conditions. Whether you’re dealing with an old sports injury, fibromyalgia, arthritis, or an acute issue, there is direct evidence to show that it works. Some researchers believe this therapy option blocks the pain signals sent by the nervous system to the brain. Others think it releases chemicals in the body to help numb the pain. Either way, you’ll feel better when you visit a certified acupuncturist.
Although going for a walk might be the last thing you want to do when you’re dealing with pain, a little exercise will help you start to feel better. Endorphins are released by the body when you exercise, giving boosts to your mood and energy. Your doctor can help you find exercises that work around your physical limitations to help you get started.
#3. Fish Oil
Taking this supplement on a regular basis may help to reduce the morning stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis. It also helps with joint tenderness and reduces pain. Although complete comfort may not be achieved with this alternative therapy, it does take the edge off the discomfort. That may reduce the need to take traditional medications for some people. You’ll also get a boost of omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce the risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, and surging cholesterol levels.
#4. Chiropractic Care
If you’re dealing with lower back pain, neck discomfort, or posture-related concerns, then a visit to your local chiropractor might help you start feeling better right away. Don’t be tempted to save some cash by having someone “pop” your back at home. Any time you’re dealing with pain, a professional should be involved.
Never have an untrained person try to manipulate the vertebrae in your neck.
Regular use of marijuana produces a modest effect when dealing with specific types of nerve pain. People diagnosed with HIV or MS see the most relief when using this alternative therapy. It also helps with other types of chronic pain, reduces nausea, and may promote sleep. This option does have addictive qualities, however, and the THC in it may lead to additional risks in some individuals.
If you’re interested in this option for pain relief, then review your medical marijuana laws if the product is not authorized for recreational sale.
You’ll find this substance in chili peppers. It offers a robust anti-inflammatory quality to it that helps the body become more resilient to pain when consumed regularly. You can also use capsaicin as a topical rub to provide relief for certain types of nerve pain, arthritis-related joint pain, and issues with osteoarthritis in the knee.
If you struggle with severe pain in your knees, then this supplement offers eventual pain relief when you take it regularly. Most people must take it for 2-4 weeks before the levels of pain begin subsiding. Some people must take care when using this alternative therapy because many sources of it come from shellfish.
Anyone with a history of food allergies, or if there is a shellfish allergy in your family, should speak with their doctor before taking this pain relief option.
#8. Physical Therapy
This option for relieving pain goes back to the idea of exercise. When you work on the areas of your body which cause discomfort, then it begins to repair itself while offering you temporary relief. Chronic pain is closely associated with depression also, which can make the pain feel magnified when they exist together.
Your physical therapist might offer electrical stimulation options as a form of therapeutic treatment, which will decrease pain without putting pressure on the affected area.
If you’re dealing with chronic pain from a repetitive strain injury, back pain, or the type of pain associated with cancer, then this alternative approach may offer relief. During your session, the focus will be on finding a place of comfort and relaxing. Forget about the stage hypnotist that causes people to bark like a dog or other silly things.
When hypnosis is used for pain control, you’re always in the driver’s seat.
Many forms of acute pain happen because of muscle tension. You might call it a “Charley horse” or a “knot,” but it provides the same result: discomfort. A professional massage works out the tension which develops in the muscle, often providing immediate relief.
Massage could be helpful for specific health conditions which lead to chronic pain too. People with Rheumatoid arthritis find joint-pain relief when this alternative therapy targets bothersome areas. People with neck and back injuries find help with this option also.
#11. Guided Imagery
It is essential to remember that pain is the result of nerve communications with the brain. If you change how your mind perceives these impulses, then the possibility of finding relief exists. That’s what this alternative therapy option does for your health.
An expert will guide you through a process where your thoughts are directed toward specific images instead of pain. You learn to let go of the discomfort because it no longer defines you. It’s useful for headaches, fibromyalgia, and cancer-associated pain.
#12. Relaxation Therapy
Did you know that it is possible to forget how to relax? Many people are inundated with stressful situations every day. The higher levels of cortisol in the body then make it difficult to let go of these situations at the end of the day. This therapy uses different approaches to treat the individual as a whole, teaching deep breathing exercises, coping skills, and other ways to find new calmness in their lives.
There are 100+ forms of meditation to start practicing, so sitting in a quiet room with your elbows on your knees is not the only option. Loving-kindness meditation offers unique pain-relieving qualities because the focus is placed on blessing other people. The shift in perspective often reduces the pain to tolerable levels in just one session.
The deep breathing and singular point of focus taught by many meditation options will oxygenate your blood and help your body start relaxing. Those elements encourage pain relief too.
If you’re dealing with back or neck pain, arthritis, or fibromyalgia, then the stretches used with this alternative therapy may offer relief too. Although the movements may cause more pain in the first few days of practice, you’ll discover that added flexibility and exercise may eventually reduce the medication or alternative therapies you’re using for pain management.
When starting this option, take it slow. Over-exerting yourself may lead to additional pain. Use modifications whenever you feel uncomfortable trying to do what your teacher encourages.
#15. Miracle Cures
Any time a product or service offers instant pain relief, you should become immediately skeptical. Specific treatments, devices, or supplements might cause some forms of acute pain to disappear, but it takes time to resolve chronic discomfort.
Most chronic pain issues require a collaboration of different techniques and a full treatment team to produce results.
You must also be suspicious of any pain relief option where there is a purely financial motive involved. That skepticism should apply to prescription management as well. Before taking an unfamiliar medication, research why your doctor wants you to take it. Discuss the pros and cons of having each item included in your treatment plan.
Which Alternative Therapy for Pain Could Work for You?
If you’re struggling with pain right now, there’s a good chance you’ve already tried one (if not several) of these alternative therapies.
The issue many people encounter involves patience. These therapies are not designed to be a quick-fix for your situation. Some options take several weeks to begin producing results.
Unlike medication that provides temporary, instant relief, these alternatives are designed to improve daily wellness by promoting a healthy approach to life. You’ll have the freedom to express your creativity once again because you persisted.
Your doctor may have suggestions for additional alternative therapies listed here. Before starting any new pain control techniques, make sure your choices work with your current treatment plan for best results.
Then keep up-to-date on the latest research into alternative therapies that may help with your pain. The options continue to grow, which means the unusual treatments offered today could become the prescribed treatments of the next generation.