Chronic pain affects millions of people as a global health problem. While painkillers offer a commonly known means of dealing with this widespread issue, many who suffer from chronic pain would prefer other pain management solutions. The following examples highlight some approaches to managing chronic pain without constant use of painkillers.
Physical Treatments and Stress-Reduction Methods
Physical therapy focuses on decreasing pain by utilizing a combination of active or passive methods such as exercises, heat/ice packs, ultrasound and electrical stimulation. Some claim that acupuncture and chiropractic treatments can be effective ways of managing chronic pain. Approaches that reduce stress and relax the body can also bring relief to people with chronic pain. Such techniques include yoga, hypnosis, massage and biofeedback. Biofeedback teaches the control of normally unconscious bodily functions, like heart rate or blood pressure, in attempt to generate pain-reducing effects.
Back and Neck Rehabilitation
Back and neck rehabilitation programs provide comprehensive treatment for those with chronic back, neck, or joint pain. In a rehabilitation program, a team of medical professionals with a range of specializations oversee a patient’s care through three phases of treatment. In the first phase, the medical team diagnoses the cause of the pain, develops a treatment plan, and treats inflammation and acute pain. The second phase focuses on recovery, developing the flexibility and strength of affected areas of the body to facilitate a return to activities of daily living. For this purpose, the rehab team will typically design a specially tailored exercise program to rebuild the body. In the third phase, the rehab team addresses the goal of preventing future injury through such means as education and a total body fitness plan that maintains optimal body mechanics and increases endurance. While rehab may consist of physical therapy, a specialist from Alberta Back & Neck Rehab says a rehabilitation program is a more thorough treatment approach.
Natural supplements that reduce inflammation can have considerable pain-relieving effects. Some physicians recommend turmeric as a particularly effectual chronic pain-reducing supplement. Turmeric's active compound Curcumin reduces inflammation-causing enzymes in the body. Other supplements recognized for their anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing qualities include ginger, Capsaicin, Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids. Some research has indicated that krill oil is an especially effective source of pain-relieving Omega-3 acids, as it contains an ingredient that propels fatty acids directly into your cells.
If you are considering chronic pain management techniques, consult your doctor to discuss your specific situation and needs. Well-chosen approaches to managing chronic pain without painkillers can significantly improve your quality of life.