Are you in pain? Do you have chronic conditions that cause you daily discomfort? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, as many as 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain.
But what can you do about it?
While there are a variety of pain medications available, many people are exploring alternative treatments for pain relief. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of these alternative treatments.
What Are the Benefits of Alternative Treatments for Pain Relief?
When it comes to pain relief, there are a wide variety of treatment options available. From over-the-counter medications to prescription drugs, there is no shortage of options to choose from.
Some people believe that alternative treatments for pain relief are more effective than conventional methods such as medication. This is because alternative treatments often target the root cause of the pain, rather than just masking the symptoms.
Another advantage of alternative treatments is that they often have fewer side effects than conventional treatments. This is because they are usually natural and do not contain any synthetic ingredients.
Alternative treatments can also be used in combination with other treatment methods, such as medication or physiotherapy. This allows you to tailor your treatment plan to your specific needs and preferences.
Finally, another benefit of alternative treatments is that they are often cheaper than other options such as medication or surgery.
What Are Four Common Alternative Treatments for Pain Relief?
Many people suffer from chronic pain and are looking for ways to find relief. There are many treatments available, but not all of them work for everyone.
Below, we will explore four common alternative treatments for pain relief to help you decide which one might be right for you.
Acupuncture is a popular alternative treatment for pain relief that has been used for centuries. The practice involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body. It is believed that this stimulates the release of endorphins, which are natural pain relievers.
Acupuncture is most commonly used to relieve pain associated with conditions such as back pain, headaches, arthritis, and menstrual cramps. Many people find that acupuncture provides relief when other treatments have failed.
Acupuncture is usually performed by a licensed practitioner. The number of needles used and the length of time they are left in place depends on the condition being treated. Most acupuncture sessions last 30-60 minutes.
Acupuncture is considered safe when performed by a trained and licensed professional. The risk of serious side effects is low. The most common side effect is discomfort at the needle site.
Massage is one of the most common alternative treatments for pain relief, and it may be just what you need to find some relief from your chronic pain.
Massage therapy is thought to help relieve pain by decreasing muscle tension, improving circulation, and promoting relaxation. When you’re in pain, your muscles tend to tense up. This can make the pain worse and can also lead to other problems such as headaches, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping.
Massage can help loosen up these tight muscles and improve circulation throughout your body. This can lead to reduced pain and improved overall well-being. In addition, the relaxation that comes with massage can help reduce stress levels, which can also contribute to chronic pain.
There are many different types of massages that can be effective for pain relief. Some common types of massages include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, trigger point massage, and sports massage.
Swedish massage is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes and light pressure to relax the body. Deep tissue massage is a more focused type of massage that targets the deeper layers of muscle tissue. Trigger point massage targets specific areas of muscle tension using pressure and release techniques. Sports massage is designed to improve athletic performance and recover from injuries.
If you’re considering massage therapy for pain relief, it’s important to find a qualified therapist who has experience treating people with chronic pain. Ask your doctor for recommendations or look for qualified therapists online. When you meet with a potential therapist, be sure to ask about their qualifications and experience treating people with chronic pain.
Also ask about the types of massages they offer and whether they have any specialty training in treating chronic pain. Once you’ve found a qualified therapist, be sure to communicate your goals for treatment so that they can tailor the session to your needs.
3. Herbal Supplements
Herbal supplements are a type of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), CAM therapies encompass all health systems, practices, and products that are not part of conventional medicine. In other words, if a treatment is not something you would find at your local pharmacy or hospital, it’s considered CAM.
Use of CAM therapies has been on the rise in recent years. A survey from the NIH found that 40% of adults in the United States used some form of CAM in 2010. That number has likely only increased since then.
There are many different types of herbal supplements that have been traditionally used for pain relief. Some of the most popular include:
- Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It’s commonly used in Indian cooking. Curcumin, a component of turmeric, is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it a popular natural treatment for conditions like arthritis and joint pain.
- Ginger: Ginger is another spice with anti-inflammatory properties. It’s been shown to be effective for treating nausea and pain associated with migraines, menstrual cramps, and arthritis.
- Devil’s claw: Devil’s claw is an herbal supplement derived from the devil’s claw plant. It’s sometimes used as a natural treatment for low back pain and osteoarthritis.
- Capsaicin: Capsaicin is an ingredient found in chili peppers. It can be applied topically as a cream or ointment to help relieve pain from conditions like arthritis and nerve damage.
Hypnosis is a state of altered consciousness in which a person becomes more open to suggestion. During hypnosis, a person’s attention is so focused that other thoughts may be excluded from their mind. This deep focus can allow the individual to respond to suggestions in a way that is different from how they would respond when they are not hypnotized.
While hypnosis has been used for centuries to treat a variety of issues, recent studies have shown that it may be effective in treating chronic pain as well.
One study found that participants who received hypnosis treatment experienced significant reductions in pain intensity and disability when compared to those who did not receive hypnosis treatment. The study’s authors concluded that hypnotic interventions should be considered as a possible treatment option for patients with chronic pain.
While more research is needed to confirm the efficacy of hypnosis for treating chronic pain, these sorts of studies suggest that hypnosis may be a promising alternative treatment option for those who suffer from this condition.
There are many alternative treatments available for pain relief. It is important to talk to your doctor before starting any new treatment, especially if you are taking any medications.
Some common options include acupuncture, massage therapy, herbal supplements, and hypnosis. Try out a few different treatments to see which one works best for you!
Emma Thake is the Director of Marketing & Media at Yinova. A graduate of Bard College, where she studied Cultural Anthropology, Emma is passionate about building the Yinova community and helping everyone associated with Yinova stay connected. She focuses her time on informing patients and press alike on the benefits of acupuncture and Chinese medicine and loves being able to empower people with information about their bodies and their health.