Pain management is one of the most common reasons adults seek medical care from their doctor. In fact, about 50 million adults report having some kind of chronic pain.
From back pain to muscle and joint aches, pain can interrupt your daily activities and prevent you from living life to the fullest.
And while it may be tempting to reach for an anti-inflammatory pill or ask the doctor for something stronger, there are a few other effective pain management techniques you can try first.
Keep reading for 5 surprising ways to manage pain.
Acupuncture is an ancient eastern medical practice. The goal of acupuncture is to relieve pain by balancing the body’s flow of energy.
During this practice, an acupuncturist places very small needles into the skin. Depending on the location and type of pain, the acupuncturist will place the needles where they need to be for best results.
For most people, acupuncture is a relaxing experience. It is thought to release a hormone in the body called serotonin which boosts mood and relieves pain.
During acupuncture, the central nervous system is stimulated and releases natural chemicals into the body. When these chemicals are released into the muscles and the brain, the body can use its natural healing methods to relieve pain.
Regular acupuncture appointments may even be covered by insurance depending on your provider. The industry has gained popularity and legitimacy in the last few decades, making it easier to find a qualified acupuncturist in your area.
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years, but it’s not for everyone. So, talk to your doctor before making an appointment with an acupuncturist.
Maybe you’ve heard of this spice in your favorite curry dishes, but did you know it also has healing properties?
Turmeric comes from an orange-colored root and it’s usually sold in powder form. It contains curcumin which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Chronic pain is often a result of musculoskeletal issues caused by inflammation. Turmeric can help ease the internal swelling and ease any pain.
The benefits of turmeric have been well researched. Some studies have even found that turmeric can be as effective in reducing inflammation as some over-the-counter pain medications.
So if you’re looking for ways to manage pain in a more natural way, consider adding a turmeric supplement to your diet.
Just cooking with turmeric will not give you the dosage you need for the therapeutic effects. But you can find a natural supplement in any health food store.
If you are interested in other natural healing supplements, you can also look for willow bark and cloves. Each has been known to effectively supplement the body’s immunity and promote healing.
What about swapping medication for meditation?
Meditation allows you to focus on your breathing and eliminate the distractions around you.
For those living with severe or chronic pain, it can be hard to focus on anything but your pain. But during meditation, you can train your brain to let go of thoughts about chronic pain and start to let those feelings melt away.
Some doctors will prescribe meditation for what is called secondary pain. Secondary pain is your mind’s reaction to a physical form of pain (i.e., bruising, swelling). By allowing the mind to focus on the present, it is possible to reduce the actual amount of pain you feel.
Along with meditation is the practice of mindfulness which involves being hyperaware of the present and how you are feeling. Use of mindfulness meditation is a promising pain management tool.
Have you ever wondered, does hemp help with pain?
The short answer is, yes – it can. CBD derived from the hemp plant is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce pain.
CBD reacts with the human endocannabinoid system. This is the system of the body responsible for keeping your body regulated. It wants to create a stable, predictable, even environment.
When something disrupts the endocannabinoid system it reacts by reducing inflammation. So, by using CBD from the hemp plant you can support your body’s natural immune response to pain.
CBD products can be ingested or used topically. Depending on the type and location of the injury, certain products may be easier and more effective.
There is still a lot of research to be done on using hemp products for pain management. Talk to your doctor before you use any hemp products for pain relief.
5. Temperature Therapy
One of the simplest ways to ease pain is by using heat and ice.
If you experience an injury like a strained muscle or you are sore from exercise, use ice first. The ice will reduce any swelling and inflammation. You will feel relief immediately.
You can ice the affected area for about 15 minutes at a time. You may want to use more than one round of ice to ensure it has had time to work.
Once the inflammation has subsided, you can use heat to help any remaining stiffness. Certain joints and muscles are more prone to tensing up after an injury. Using heat regularly can help loosen up areas where you might have chronic pain.
You can find easy-to-use microwavable heat packs at most health stores and pharmacies.
Using heat and ice might be a short term solution, but it’s ideal for injuries. It can also be useful for general back pain.
Pain Management On Your Terms
As you can see, there are several ways to manage pain naturally without medication. So maybe it’s time to try something new!
Don’t let pain get in the way of your health, happiness, or ability to live life to the fullest. You deserve to lead a pain-free life, and it’s possible.
Talk to your doctor before starting a new pain management routine. Your safety is the highest priority.
If you’re looking for more health and lifestyle tips, browse through some of the other great articles on my blog!