Natural pain relief options
Living with chronic pain can make everyday tasks challenging. Pain relievers may help reduce or relieve pain, but they all come with advantages and disadvantages. Prescription pain relievers, such as opioids, can be extremely effective, but they come with the possible risk of addiction and overdose. Thankfully, there are several non-pharmacological treatments that can help with the management of pain. Read on down below to see the eight ways you can alleviate your pain, drug-free.
Relax with acupuncture
This treatment is a natural go-to when you’re looking for natural pain relief. “The evidence is now quite good that acupuncture can be helpful in low back pain, headache and arthritis. The benefits of acupuncture accumulate with ongoing treatment,” says Dr Robert Bonakdar, MD, director of pain management at an Integrative Medicine centre. He explains that acupuncture rewires the brain by tapping into cognitive areas that control the memory of and response to the hurt.
Stay moving with exercise
“Exercise is one of the most powerful tools we have for chronic pain,” says Dr Bonakdar. Staying active “allows patients to increase their level of endorphins, dopamine, and tissue oxygen, all which can help reduce pain while improving mood and sleep,” he adds. Dr Bonakdar points to a 2017 Cochrane review that found that aerobic exercise likely improves quality of life and may reduce pain intensity in patients with fibromyalgia. That said, some people say that exercise increases discomfort, so to sidestep that problem, it’s important to see a doctor or physical therapist who can work with you to start a program and ramp up safely.