Have you been suffering from chronic pain lately? If so, you’re not alone. According to recent data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the number of Americans living with chronic pain is an astonishing 25.3 million. Even more concerning, nearly 18 percent of Americans reported experiencing “severe levels of pain.”
Chronic pain is any long-term pain that lasts more than just a few days or weeks. Managing this type of nearly constant, ongoing pain can be a struggle — as anyone with chronic pain already knows. Equally troubling, many people are becoming addicted to prescription painkillers, which are being used to help numb their physical pain.
Alternatives to Medication
One thing many doctors don’t explain is that there are other options for managing pain besides medication. In fact, there are many non-addictive alternative treatments that can be effective in easing the symptoms of pain, from yoga and meditation to acupuncture and massage.
To understand which alternative treatment might be best for you, it helps to start by looking at the underlying cause of your pain. For many people, such as those with arthritis, inflammation in the body can contribute to pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation, when a part of the body is inflamed, that inflammation can activate the nerves, which then send pain signals to the brain.
CBD and CBC
If you are one of the many people living with chronic pain as a result of inflammation in the body, reducing that inflammation could be the key to lessening your pain. One natural method of reducing inflammation and pain without medications is through a cannabinoid (CBC) treatment. For instance, you might use cannabidiol (CBD), beneficial cannabinoids that can boost the functions of your body without making you intoxicated. CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and help with pain management in many people.
Reiki, Massage, and Acupuncture
Another option you might try is working with a professional who specializes in a holistic or alternative healing practice, such as reiki, massage, or acupuncture. These gentle, healing treatments have been shown to help those who are suffering from chronic pain. If you are experiencing muscle pain, a massage can be particularly helpful in relaxing the muscles, relieving the pain, and possibly even preventing pain from recurring.
Additionally, you can manage your own pain at home by taking up a regular yoga practice. Yoga stretches the muscles and eases the pressure on your joints, helping your body to heal. If you’re new to yoga, start by working with a licensed yoga therapist first until you’ve learned to safely complete the basic yoga postures, called asanas. Your yoga therapist will be able to recommend specific postures or stretches for you to practice at home to help ease your pain.
By maintaining a healthy lifestyle and implementing alternative treatment methods, you can manage and possibly even reduce your level of pain. In addition to helping ease your pain, these relaxing treatments can also help soothe your mind, reduce stress, and boost your mental and emotional health. Overall, you’ve got very little to lose from trying the alternative treatments listed in this article. You might even have a new outlook and an improved quality of life to gain.