Recent studies show that traditional pain management may worsen pain, leaving many who suffer chronically searching for answers. Whether you have arthritis, pain resulting from a past injury, or a health condition that causes inflammation in your body, there are natural treatment options that can help.
The treatment method that may be right for you will depend on the reason for your pain. No two individuals are the same, and what works for one person may not work for another.
Dealing with chronic pain can affect your mental health, your quality of life, and nearly every aspect of daily activities. Some days, it may be hard to get out of bed. Each person deserves to experience enjoyment in life. If you’re struggling and are looking for pain relief, discuss with your doctor these 11 options for alternative medicine.
1. Incorporate Herbs Into Your Diet
The GR8 thing about this natural remedy for pain is that you probably already have some of these herbs in your kitchen. The key is incorporating more of them into your meals. Another huge upside is that they add flavor to your meals.
Some herbs have anti-inflammatory properties, such as ginger and turmeric, and herbs that help manage arthritis and sciatica, such as St. John’s Wort.
Check out the full list of pain-relieving herbs and spices.
2. Hot and Cold Therapy
The an-age old method for managing pain, someone has probably told you to “put some ice on it,” at one point or another. However, ice isn’t always the answer. There are times when the heat is more beneficial to pain management. These treatments won’t heal your injury or cure a health problem, but hot and cold therapy is effective at managing pain and alleviating symptoms. Many find it effective for chronic back and neck pain.
Acupuncture is an ancient practice with Asian origins. While the eastern world has been using it for centuries, it recently caught on in the west as a holistic, non-invasive, drug-free option for pain management. It works by prompting the body to release endorphins by inserting tiny needles into the surface of the skin. Endorphins are a natural chemical in the body that binds to pain receptors to reduce symptoms.
Learn more about how acupuncture treats pain naturally.
CBD is changing the pain management industry forever, as individuals are finding that it effectively treats a wide variety of symptoms. Not only can it help with insomnia and anxiety, but many people are turning to CBD to help address arthritis pain. It has antioxidant properties and helps the body produce natural chemicals for pain relief, such as serotonin.
Learn more about how CBD can help manage chronic pain.
5. Gentle Stretching
Discuss the possibility of using gentle stretching to help relieve chronic pain with your doctor. If you are in pain due to a specific injury, it may not be right for you, but many who suffer from back and neck pain find it effective. Stretching is low impact and doesn’t put pressure on the joints, helping those struggling with arthritic pain as well.
Check out these six stretches to help alleviate back pain.
6. Avoid Foods That Make Pain Worse
Many people don’t consider the role that diet plays in managing chronic pain, but some foods can make the pain worse. You might be surprised that certain vegetables, such as tomatoes and eggplants, made a list. Another surprising culprit is dairy. To see which foods may be worsening your pain, try a three month cleanse of the noted food groups and keep track of your improvement.
7. For Those Struggling with Migraines
Chronic pain doesn’t always result from an injury or degenerative health condition. Migraines are a leading source of anxiety for many individuals. Millions of adults suffer from recurring migraines each year, which can interfere with daily life. Many find themselves missing work or canceling social activities. Natural solutions to help address the pain include drinking plenty of water or having a cup of coffee and using a cold compress.
8. Chiropractic Treatment
For those who suffer chronic back and neck pain, pain resulting from arthritis or a prior injury, seeking the help of a chiropractor may help. Chiropractors offer treatment options well beyond traditional back adjustments. Many offices offer services such as cryotherapy to treat pain, massage therapy, ultrasound therapy, and physical rehabilitation.
They are experts in treating musculoskeletal pain of all sorts, and can even help ease chronic pain resulting from digestive conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Yoga can help manage many types of chronic pain, including arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. It can also help relieve chronic back and neck pain, ease muscle spasms, and more. Yoga practices are generally low impact, and when done regularly can help keep chronic pain at bay.
Learn how yoga can help with carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as what GR8NESS readers are saying about how effective it is for managing symptoms of arthritis.
10. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Talk therapy doesn’t often come to mind when we think of physical pain, but Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) may be able to help alleviate symptoms. It works by challenging the brain to fight back against mental stressors that cause flare-ups in chronic pain, helping individuals to reduce stress and take control of their thoughts. Environmental factors can play a large role in the onset of a bout with chronic pain.
Learn more about CBT and other non-opioid pain management treatments.
11. Keep Moving
Pain can make it challenging to get up and to move, but a routine of gentle exercise can help manage the frequency and intensity of episodes. For patients with arthritis, chronic back pain, or those who suffer from stiffness and decreased range of motion, light exercise may be the best natural form of pain management out there.
However, there are times when doctors do not recommend exercise, and there are specific exercises that may not be beneficial for certain health conditions. Be sure to consult your doctor.
Learn more about the connection between exercise and pain management.
Finding the Right Routine for You
No two individuals will experience the same results from each pain management technique. Additionally, it may take a combination of several natural pain management treatments to find the relief you’re looking for.
Try adding one new habit into your routine at a time. Doing so will make it easy to identify what is working and what isn’t. If you notice that your pain worsens with a specific natural pain management technique, or that you begin to experience other adverse side effects, stop and speak with your doctor.
There are many holistic treatment options for managing chronic pain. This article gives an overview of just a few. With many advances in modern medicine, you may not have to turn to pharmaceuticals to address your symptoms. For those looking for natural, non-invasive techniques to treat chronic pain, there is now an abundance of options.