Treating Chronic Pain Without More Medications

March 23, 2023

 The impact that chronic pain can have on a life is never something to be underestimated. Not only is it unpleasant by itself, but it can affect your physical ability, your mood, mental health, and relationship with others. As such, finding what ways you can manage it can be a very important part of your journey. It’s always recommended that you work with doctors when you can, to manage your chronic pain. However, there are ways to supplement any medications they may prescribe, such as the following.

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Add some herbs to your diet

Superfoods are not going to get rid of your pain, but there are herbs and extracts that you can add to your meals that can do a lot more good than you think. Many of these have been used as natural painkillers for centuries, they’re not just fads that have surfaced recently. Naturally, they’re not as effective as painkilling medicine, but there have been studies done into the effectiveness of herbs like cloves, turmeric, and willow bark that have found evidence to suggest that they do alleviate symptoms of pain to some degree. Reliance on these can come with some side effects, such as potentially upsetting your stomach, so you should use them in moderation and awareness, especially if you have any other health issues that need to be managed.

A different kind of herb

One approach that has been getting a lot more popular as of late, especially as it faces increasing legalization across a variety of states, is the reliance on cannabis. Cannabinoids, which are found in CBD products as well as cannabis, are a group of botanical compounds that have long been thought to have some positive properties in helping to treat chronic pain. CBD products are the form that has no psychoactive components to them, but there are also products like cannabis concentrates which deliver the whole package, so to speak, and some people find those more effective. Depending on where you live, you may even be able to get a prescription for it.

Get the blood pumping

The natural reaction of some when told “simply exercise the pain away” may be an eyeroll and quick dismissal. There are some people in pain that prevents them from doing a wide range of exercises, but anything that can help you improve your aerobic condition can also improve your experience of pain. The body has its natural painkillers, such as endorphins, that can increase your pain threshold, meaning that pain can become just that bit less excruciating. There are plenty of exercise routines for chronic pain that you can find on the internet, many of them relying on the principles of starting off slow and light, then upping the intensity as your ability to tolerate and do more improves.

Relaxation is key

Another practice that you can do, at home, alone, without having to buy anything, is meditation. There has been a lot of studies done on meditation and its impact on pain as of late, and many of the results indicate that it can have a real impact on the individual’s experience of pain. It might not cut to the physical cause of the symptoms of pain, but it can affect our perception and experience of these symptoms, and a relaxed and composed mind can improve our ability to tolerate pain. Mindfulness meditation is often used for chronic pain, so much so that some apps have programmes specializing in helping you reduce your feelings of pain.

Switch the signal

If you want to try something that feels a little more hands-on, something that you can start feeling immediately, then you might want to take a closer look at transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. TENS machines have become a lot more popular as of late, specifically for helping people deal with chronic pain. These are compact devices, running on batteries, that use electrodes stuck to the skin to send electrical impulses directly into it. A lot of users can attest that this can block pain signals, as well as relax the muscles, and its proponents suggest that it, much like exercise, can release endorphins which also increase your tolerance of pain. These machines have become particularly popular amongst chronic pain patients.

Regardless of whether or not the methods you’re using to fight chronic pain are medical, you should have a medical professional involved in the decision-making. The final decision is, of course, yours, but don’t neglect the fact that doctors are good sources of advice, not just treatment.

*contributed post*

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