There is increasing interest in managing chronic pain without the use of opioids. The United States is in the grips of what is called an opioid epidemic. Over prescribing of opioids has led to many people becoming addicted to what was meant to be a temporary means of relieving pain.
For that reason, among others such as the desire to live a healthier life free of the side effects of opioid use, many people are turning towards more holistic and varied ways to control their chronic pain. These methods work and are especially useful when you’ve passed the point of acute pain in your recovery. They allow you to live pain-free, or at least in a state where the pain is manageable, without prescription drugs.
Everyone loves a good massage. I mean, massages feel great, but did you know they are excellent for pain management? That’s right. Massage therapy naturally encourages the body to produce endorphins and serotonin – the body’s natural means of fighting pain and stress.
Stress can magnify your pain. It’s true. The more worked up you get, the more it hurts. That’s where something like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can help. CBT can help you to reduce the stress that can lead to pain, as well as help you to deal with the symptoms in a constructive way when your pain does flare up.
Yes, to a lot of people acupuncture is pseudoscience and mysticism, but some studies have shown that it does actually work, in a limited capacity. Apparently, acupuncture can stimulate the production of adenosine, a natural pain relieving amino acid.
Yoga combines two things that help relieve chronic pain: stress reduction and stronger muscles. Yoga is especially good for those who suffer from chronic lower back pain.
Where the mind goes, the body will follow. Guided imagery puts this into practice by encouraging you to “imagine” the pain away by visualizing positive changes in the body.
Mind over matter. Meditation is all about concentration and acceptance. In meditation, both guided and silent, we are taught to accept the noise, and this includes accepting aches and pains. You will be surprised how the perception of pain decreases as you focus upon it in a non-judgmental fashion. Essentially, you train your mind to accept and compartmentalize chronic pain.
Like yoga, Tai Chi focuses on increasing strength, increasing flexibility and reducing stress, all integral to reducing chronic pain.
Living with chronic pain is no easy task. Fortunately, at MSA, we focus on improving our patients quality of life and providing them the tools and knowledge necessary to reduce their symptoms and live full and happy lives. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!