10 Pain Management Remedies to Try Today
Nothing disrupts your quality of life like experiencing unrelenting physical pain. And when it comes to pain relief, be it a natural remedy or medical care, the options are as numerous as the causes themselves. The good news is that you don’t have to live with the pain and can take a number of approaches to find relief and start feeling like yourself again. Here are some safe and effective pill-free ways to treat pain management.
Complementary Care (Help from Your Medical Team) For Pain Management
Over 25 million adults suffer from chronic pain, which lasts more than several months. Worse, those who suffer from chronic pain are typically in poorer health and experience more disability than those with less severe pain. Luckily, some complementary health approaches can help manage chronic pain. Ask your doctor if any of the following might be right for you.
Acupuncture—A component of traditional Chinese medicine, this alternative practice uses small needles to stimulate the central nervous system and the body’s natural healing abilities to ultimately block pain. As a long-recognized effective treatment for chronic pain, people with various health conditions such as fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neck and brain pain, and more have experienced many benefits, including pain management.
Chiropractic Care—Because realigning the spine can reduce pressure on the central nervous system and relieve compression that causes pain and inflammation, chiropractic care can aid in the body’s self-healing abilities, improve motion and physical function, and is a cost-effective alternative to drugs or surgery.
Physical Therapy—Chronic or long-term pain can make you a perfect candidate for physical therapy as a means of pain relief. With exercises that help strengthen muscles and joints, physical therapy can help you recover from a traumatic injury, improve mobility and balance, and reduce chronic pain.
Therapeutic Massage—Another underrated modality for chronic pain, especially in the neck and back areas, therapeutic massage can help the body heal by breaking down muscle
tension and pressure on nerves. Specific massages like the trigger point massage, which focuses on relieving pressure around trigger points (or specific areas of tightness in muscle tissues), can be uniquely beneficial for those suffering an injury or chronic pain. Massage can help with lymphatic drainage and improve detoxification pathways, helping reduce inflammation throughout the body as well.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)—Our minds and bodies are connected. When it comes to chronic pain, learning how to connect your thoughts and feelings to your body can facilitate pain relief throughout the body. Several studies have found that, whether administered alone or in combination with medical treatment, CBT improves pain and related problems.
Self-Help Methods for Pain Management
Reclaiming your health means recognizing there are steps you can take to feel your best. In fact, implementing just a few positive changes to your daily routine can be more effective than a prescription and even provide overarching benefits in other areas of your life. Here are a few ways to take your power back and facilitate your healing from an injury or chronic pain.
Exercise: Yoga, Tai Chi, and Walking
Adding 15-20 minutes of movement daily can improve your overall health and help you live longer. Even better, daily exercise can reduce tension, anxiety, depression, and fatigue, and help with weight management.
Meditation, Prayer, Spiritual, and Pastoral Support
There is not a single disease that stress does not worsen. Meditation, breathing exercises, and prayer can help relax the mind and body, increase calmness, improve psychological balance, and minimize stress, illness, and of course, pain.
Music and Art
Redirecting your mental focus to music and art, or anything that evokes inspiration, happiness, and ultimately relaxation, can do volumes for pain management.
Could the foods you consume cause or exacerbate your pain? According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, yes. Processed sugars and other high-glycemic starches increase inflammation, which causes pain, overheating, redness, and swelling. Eating nutrient-dense whole foods like lean protein and more vegetables can keep the pain at bay, improve your health, and keep you well.
Get Better Sleep
As sleep is one of the pillars of health, getting at least eight hours of restful sleep a night can ease irritability, stress, and tension. And by eating healthier and adding exercise to your daily schedule, you can improve the quality of your sleep, falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer. Win-win!
Perform a Pain Management Inventory
Many external factors can affect the levels of pain you experience. As such, there are lifestyle changes you can make and uphold that can help keep you pain-free or at least minimize the severity of the pain you’re feeling. Performing a pain management self-inventory can paint a fuller picture of what may be adversely affecting your pain management and help keep you on track to feeling as healthy as possible.
Ask yourself how well you’re managing these lifestyle choices with one of the following: not well managed, fairly well managed, or well managed. If you find that “not well managed” ratings are proportional to more severe or frequent change, adjust accordingly.
- Eating healthy
- Getting daily exercise/movement
- Easing tension/managing stress levels
- Getting consistent, quality sleep
- Staying socially connected
Before starting any pain management on your own, be sure to consult with your primary care physician to make sure these methods are appropriate for your specific condition.