In the blink of an eye, your life can change. Car accidents come without warning and may impact the rest of your life. And in that micro-moment, you could sustain an injury that leaves you with a lifetime of chronic pain.
Chronic pain can range from mild to debilitating, and it’s not a condition to be taken lightly. But we must acknowledge that the best pain-fighting prescriptions we have at our disposal are incredibly dangerous. The opioid epidemic has shown us the danger of prescribing opioid painkillers to address chronic pain.
It’s clear that we need alternatives, and in this post, we’re going to cover six of them.
This certainly isn’t a quick or easy solution, but it offers the best chance for actually ridding your life of chronic pain. Talk to your doctor about potential solutions for your pain and whether there are any surgeries that can help improve your quality of life.
For example, if you’re experiencing pain in your knees, there’s a chance a knee replacement surgery will help. There are always risks to any procedure, and it’s important to weigh the pros and cons with your doctor. Nothing is guaranteed, but your doctor should be able to give you an indication of whether you’re a good candidate for any procedure.
Keep in mind that there are some situations where the root cause cannot effectively be addressed. In this case, or if you’re not a good candidate for surgery, you’ll have to rely on other pain-relieving methods.
In many cases, physical therapy can be an effective way to provide some pain relief. For some people, physical therapy alone may be enough to ward off chronic pain. For others, it works well alongside other pain-relieving methods.
There are a few ways physical therapy can treat pain. It can strengthen muscles and joints that help you move with relative ease. Weaker muscles can make mobility difficult and put extra stress on injuries, joints and discs.
Physical therapy can also address inflammation and the dysfunctional movement that’s causing pain. And it can also help your central nervous system re-learn how to handle pain signals.
There are many herbal treatments that have shown promise for pain relief. Some work better than others for certain types of pain, and some people have better experiences with specific remedies. If you’re considering natural or herbal pain relievers, you may want to investigate more than one to see which is best for you.
Three very promising natural remedies for pain are CBD, kratom and arnica. All three have been shown to provide pain relief that’s greater than placebo. If you’re interested in CBD, check the laws in your area as there are still restrictions in many states.
Kratom is another herbal remedy and it works similarly to the way opioids work. There isn’t a large body of research on kratom yet, so be sure to do your own research. But if you’re interested in trying this natural pain reliever and would like to save on kratom, many online retailers offer discounts.
Arnica is a natural pain reliever that works best for sore and aching muscles. This pain reliever is only meant for topical use as it can be poisonous if taken orally.
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years for pain management in traditional Chinese medicine, and there are many studies that point to its effectiveness.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles into the skin at specific acupoints. And this may relieve pain by prompting the body to release endorphins and impacting the part of the brain that regulates serotonin.
You may have heard to alternate heat and ice on new injuries, but this technique can work on chronic pain as well. Heat and ice are effective at addressing inflammation, which is at the root of chronic pain. When you’re feeling pain, you can ice the area for 10 minutes three times a day and/or after any prolonged or vigorous activity.
If you want to alternate with heat, you can also use heat for about 10 to 15 minutes. Just keep a couple of hours between heat and cold applications. Avoid applying heat or cold for more than 20 minutes in one session.
These days, it may seem like meditation is a cure-all for any ailment. And you might be surprised to hear meditation recommended for chronic pain. But research has shown that meditation works by activating and reinforcing some of the areas in the brain used to process pain, thus reducing the perception of pain in some people. Meditation certainly won’t heal your wound, but it may change the way your body responds to the pain signals.
Chronic pain can be intense and debilitating, but it’s important to know there are options. Talk to your doctor about which pain-relieving options are right for you.
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