What Are the Alternative Options to Pain Relief?
Each of us has experienced some pains in the back, legs, abdomen or limbs at least once in his or her life. However, statistics state that, nowadays, around 50 percent of Americans are suffering from chronic pain and are searching for alternative pain relief treatments to cure them. Either because they prefer to obtain relief in a natural way or simply due to the fact that standard medicine was inefficient in their situation, the alternative options of obtaining pain relief can be seen as a treatment in themselves.
Normally, when a person is looking for alternative pain relief methods, he is actually searching for a complementary therapy to his medication treatment. In the severe cases of chronic pain, where the pain has a neurologic cause, it is highly recommended that a person follows a prescribed treatment along with the holistic methods. However, in most cases, the pain is caused by a trauma, injury or a strain of the muscles in a certain area. For the last situations, the holistic treatments such as massage, acupuncture or heat therapy can be used as a treatment option in itself.
The Holistic Methods that can help You Get Pain Relief
One of the holistic methods that everyone has heard about is the massage therapy. This is an alternative pain relief procedure that has been practiced ever since ancient times. When a person thinks about massages, the first thing that comes to mind is relaxation. Nonetheless, the massage for pain relief can do more than that, as it was proven that it is able to lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, increase the circulation and improve the range of motions a person can perform. All of the aforementioned benefits from the massage therapy contribute to reducing the pain.
Depending on your type and location of the pain, you can opt for deep tissue massage, sports massage and Swedish massage. All you need to do is talk to your doctor, get a correct diagnosis and ask him to recommend you a chiropractor, a tanning salon or a local fitness center that can provide these services. In fact, due to the alarming number of people abusing medication to alleviate pain, your doctor will be more inclined to recommend you an alternative pain relief method.
A second well known method used in the treatment of chronic pain is the heat treatment. This therapy is said to be very efficient in alleviating pains from the lower back, hips and shoulders and it can be performed in the comfort of your own home. The basic idea of this alternative pain relief options is that you will need to get extremely warm by placing your body upon a heating pad. In order to ensure the proper temperature, it would be advisable that you cover the heating pad with a plastic bag and then a towel soaked in warm water. You should be resting on the heating pad for as long as you can and you should repeat this procedure every night before you go to bed, as it does not involve a lot of a hassle.
Another known efficient method used in the treatment of pain is acupuncture. Just like the massage therapy, acupuncture is a procedure practiced since ancient times. In fact, this alternative pain relief method is the oldest known health care system ever practiced. Even though it looks scary, the acupuncture itself is not painful. Practically, during a session of acupuncture, the therapist inserts tiny needles into your skin, in the zones where he knows he can find nerve endings. The main idea of releasing some pressure at the critical nerve endings is that this procedure triggers the body’s own natural healing process.
If you decide to follow acupuncture as an alternative pain relief method, then you should make sure that the therapist you are about to work with is licensed and that he can be trusted. During the sessions, it is important that you are honest with the therapist so that he can know where to place the needles properly.
A tens unit can also be an effective way to reduce chronic pain. They can be used in most places around the body and people are surprised at the number conditions that a tens unit can reduce pain for.
One way you can get rid of pain is by practicing yoga. Yoga is extremely beneficial for chronic pain because it implies stretching. Some pains, such as hip or knee pains require you to find a way to maintain the mobility of the affected members. Although at first this relaxation technique can seem very challenging, the long term results of this treatment provide both mental and physical benefits.
Where to find alternative options to relieve pain
Before you start looking for a remedy to pain, it is important that you first acknowledge why you are in pain. If you did not sustain any recent injury and the pain gets worse with each day, it is highly advisable that you see a doctor for a diagnosis, as the cause of the pain can be a severe illness. However, if the cause of the pain comes from doing a little more extra work than your body is used to, then you can safely call on the aid of alternative pain relief methods. Nonetheless, it does not hurt to ask for a second opinion from your doctor.
Based on the diagnosis, your doctor will suggest a certain type of physical therapy or relaxation method. Before recommending you any alternative pain relief method, your doctor will most likely present you all the options you have, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. If you are uncomfortable with the therapy you are currently following, you can always look for another one.
The most important aspect that you should focus on when you are dealing with pain is your attitude towards it. Keep in mind that you are using the alternative pain relief option in order to treat a symptom and not the disease itself. Therefore, be careful and do not fall into the trap of only treating the pain.
Treating this symptom can require some years of intensive therapy in severe cases. However, sometimes you just need to get involved in more activities that will distract you from thinking about the pain.