While medication plays a significant role in pain management, there are alternative options to habitually reaching for the pill bottle. In an age where over medicating is a very real thing, many of us seek alternative methods to pain management. For those who suffer from chronic or frequent pain, a large arsenal of drug-free pain relief techniques and therapies can prove to be better alternatives.
Probably the most well-known pill-free pain management alternative, acupuncture decreases pain by increasing pain-blocking chemicals called endorphins. Most acupoints are located near nerves. When these nerves are stimulated they send messages to the brain to release the pain relieving endorphins. Acupuncture can be used to relieve: headaches, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, lower back pain, and myofascial pain.
Mind-body therapies are treatments that are designed to enhance the mind’s ability to influence the functions and symptoms of the body in a positive way. You may already be aware of some well known mind-body therapies, here are a few:
- Patient support groups
- Guided imagery
- Tai chi
As you can see by the list above, mind-body therapies and practices are not synonymous with brain focused therapies, they include behavioral, expressive, social, and spiritual approaches. Because the way the brain works is multidimensional, it’s safe to say not all pain is created equal. Which is why an ibuprofen, can not relieve all pain. The mind is made up of thoughts, emotions, attitudes, beliefs, and images. Mind-body therapies use the brain as hardware to gain access to these mental states in order to treat pain.
CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT AND MASSAGE
Another well-known pill-free pain management option is chiropractic treatment, particularly for back pain. Research shows that chiropractic treatments are also alternative options for headaches, neck pain, and whiplash. Additionally, massage therapy can not only help alleviate stress but also relieve muscle tension by increasing blood circulation. This process can also reduce substances that can cause the body to generate and sustain pain. Therapies like chiropractic manipulation hold notable promise for managing back pain.
A big problem with using pain pills is that they don’t actually address the source of the pain, they just mask it for a short time; for this reason, alternative therapies are worth exploring depending on your particular ailment.Always talk to your doctor before trying an alternative approach and be sure to tell all your doctors what alternative treatments you are using.