Pain medication usually offers temporary relief from chronic pain conditions and may be associated with short term or long term adverse side effects. Fortunately, a number of alternative therapeutic approaches to treat chronic pain are available today. It includes:
Psychological therapy: With advances in medical research, a clear link had been established between mental state and perception of pain. Depression and stress can worsen chronic pain symptoms. Cognitive behavioural therapy and biofeedback can help strengthen the mind and spirit bearing a positive influence over painful conditions.
Heat and cold therapy: Heat and cold therapy have been used for ages to treat pain with favourable results. A hot bath, heating pad or wrap can be used to deliver heat therapy which enhances blood flow to the affected area, speeding up the delivery of nutrients, oxygen and immune cells to the target area for faster healing. Ice works in a reverse manner and when applied to the injured spot reduces inflammation and pain by decreasing blood flow.
Acupuncture therapy: This ancient Chinese traditional medical practice has now been adopted worldwide to treat painful symptoms. The therapy uses needles inserted at various pressure points in the body to alleviate chronic pain.
Massage: A gentle or deep tissue massage helps relax muscles and increase blood flow to the tissues to allow the sore and injured tissues to heal and recover.
Physical therapy: Usually delivered by trained personnel, physical therapy has reported success in managing chronic pain. The therapy usually comprises of stretching and straining exercises under the watchful eyes of a physiotherapist.
TENS treatment: The Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation methodology delivers small electrical pulses to your affected area to numb the nerves, decreasing the sensation of pain in the area.
All these pain management therapies renders the use of pain medications unnecessary. Besides these therapies, there are also ways by which you can modify your lifestyle to alleviate your symptoms of chronic pain. These are:
1. Deep breathing, meditation or yoga practice to relax yourself and calm the nerves.
2. Making attempts to reduce stress in your life since stress worsens the symptoms of chronic pain.
3. Exercising regularly to boost your natural endorphin levels which blocks pain signals in the brain and also brightens your mood. Exercise also strengthens your muscles and protects it from a repeated injury.
4. Stop consuming alcohol or decrease its consumption levels as alcohol can produce sleep irregularities which will aggravate your chronic pain.
5. Joining a support group or interacting with fellow sufferers can help provide you with the much needed emotional support to overcome the depression and loneliness often associated with chronic pain. Meeting a psychologist may also help you overcome the mental stress associated with chronic pain.
6. Smoking worsens chronic pain and must be avoided.
7. Eating a healthy diet definitely helps in creating a healthy body which can recover from all sorts of disease conditions.
8. Stop focussing on your pain and try to distract yourself with activities that entertain and engross you.
Thus, a combination of alternative pain management therapies and lifestyle modification will definitely bring some positive changes in your life where you may be able to partially or completely relieve yourself from the symptoms of chronic pain.
For a systematic and complete solution of chronic pain in Chicago book an appointment with Premier Pain Specialist