Opioids and other pain medications can certainly help people cope with problems associated with chronic pain, but it should not be your only method of treating your pain. Pain pills are a passive treatment option that can be successful in controlling pain in the short term, but they lose their effectiveness and leave patients at risk for dependence and abuse in the long term. Today, we take a look at five pill-less treatment options for chronic pain that can be used on their own or in conjunction with other strategies to help keep your pain away.
Treating Pain Without Pills
We’ll offer a short blurb on five pill-less treatment strategies below. Click on the link in each article to learn more about each treatment option.
1. Exercise – Exercise is one of the best treatment options for chronic pain. It helps get healthy oxygenated blood flowing to painful areas of our body, helps us keep off excess weight, and it helps off push away the stress in our daily lives. Even if it’s low-intensity workouts, regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body, especially if you have chronic pain.
2. Yoga, Tai Chi or Meditation – These techniques also help get blood flowing and strengthen areas of our bodies that are in pain, but they also are great for the mind. Most people don’t recognize just how mentally and emotionally draining physical chronic pain is, but these treatments can help you keep your mind healthy while you’re battling your physical pain. If you have a healthy mindset, you’ll find that the physical pain is often less debilitating.
3. Massage Therapy or Acupuncture – These two techniques are similar in that they focus on the pain pathways in our body. These techniques haven’t been emphatically proven to be effective, but some people have found relief with these options. They should be used in conjunction with other strategies because they too are passive techniques, but both massage therapy and acupuncture have been shown to be successful for some patients with chronic pain.
4. Physical Therapy – Sometimes our chronic pain is caused by an easily identifiable problem, like a pinched nerve or bulging disc. When the pain pathways can be clearly identified, physical therapy to strengthen the areas or free damaged nerves can be a great option. Ask your doctor about what stretches you can do as part of your physical therapy, or better yet, see if they’ll refer you to a physical therapist that can assist you in person.
5. Daith Piercing – If your chronic pain is in the form of constant headaches or migraines, the daith piercing may help provide relief if other options have continually failed. Our blog on daith piercings has been far and away our most popular blog, and while there is no direct evidence that the piercing can provide full relief, numerous commenters have tried the technique and noticed a reduction in headache symptom and prevalence.