In the USA, one in five people have some type of chronic pain. This condition interferes with full and complete enjoyment of all aspects of life. It is even linked to compromised immune responses, meaning that additional illnesses and problems can occur.
Desperate to stop the suffering, increasing numbers of people each year are turning to opiates. Although some medications may be effective against pain, they come with significant risks. Wouldn’t it be great to find a better way? A more natural way?
The good news is, there are more natural ways to treat chronic pain. Here are 6 ways to try.
Better condition goes a long way towards fighting chronic pain conditions. When you exercise, your body produces natural painkillers—such as endorphins—and hormones that naturally raise pain thresholds. Although it might seem like it would hurt more to try exercising, start slowly with a low-stress activity like walking. Increase as your body becomes more accustomed to it, and in a short time, you should begin to see benefits.
The act of meditation has moved out of the ashram and into the mainstream. No longer only practiced by gurus and hippies, people from corporate executives to working mothers have praised the many benefits of mindfulness. It’s actually very simple to do and hard to do wrong, and has the ability to pause pain during the practice. If meditation isn’t your cup of tea, many of the same benefits can be gained by practicing deep breathing.
As it effectively relieves tension and stress, massage is a fantastic way to treat chronic pain. Weekly massages may address all types of pain issues, but are particularly effective for back and neck pain. Massage also has other benefits such as alleviating anxiety, fibromyalgia, digestive disorders, and insomnia.
Eating an assortment of vitamin- and mineral-packed foods does wonders for reducing pain. A healthful diet may consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and peas, whole-grain breads and cereals, dairy products such as milk and cheese, and lean meats. Foods such as salmon, ginger, coffee, turmeric, olive oil, red grapes, and thyme all have pain-fighting properties.
- Heat/Cold Therapy
When performed correctly, heat and/or cold therapies may work well to diminish pain. Heat may be used in the form of a hot Epsom salt bath, and cold may be used in the form of ice. What’s tricky is knowing which one is more effective for which kinds of pain. Acute injuries, such as a twisted ankle, respond better to icing while it heals. Ongoing back pain, however, does better with heat.
- Minimize Alcohol/Smoking
Both alcohol consumption and smoking are linked to a variety of health issues, including chronic pain. Alcohol impairs restful sleep patterns, which in turn can aggravate pain issues. Smoking inhibits good circulation, which in turn can increase pain.
For help managing your chronic pain, schedule an appointment with Strongsville Massage today!