Non-Traditional Pain Relief Treatments
For patients that deal with chronic pain, seeking additional therapy that complements your doctor’s prescribed pain treatments can provide a welcomed relief. Here are a few commonly accepted yet non-traditional therapeutic treatments that could reduce recovery time in the short-term, and provide long-lasting effects towards permanent improvements.
Acupuncture is a method of pain alleviation that some scientists believe dates back to 2,000 BC, but it was not until the past few decades that researchers began scientifically testing the effectiveness of the therapy. Although some of the claimed benefits of acupuncture are still not validated, the general consensus amongst researchers is that it does reduce perceived pain (even if is just a placebo effect.) Acupuncture supporters will indicate that the stimulation of nerves causes a release of endorphins that affect the neurotransmitters ability to sense pain in the brain. Furthermore, acupuncture has been known to reduce muscle inflammation, strengthen immune systems, lower blood pressure, regulate moods and improve sleep patterns for regular users. Acupuncture has become one of the most popular non-traditional pain relief treatments recommended by doctors today because it is a readily available, safe, drug free and a relatively inexpensive therapy that has contributed towards the rehabilitation of countless people with a variety of health problems.
Eating certain types of food can cause your body to adverse effects. This is much more noticeable amongst those with recognizable conditions like lactose intolerance or celiac. However, certain foods can cause negative health effects that are not immediately noticeable, or are so subtle that it would be nearly impossible to find the correlation without in-depth analysis of eating habits and pain symptoms. Researchers have found that eating too much fat can cause increased inflammation throughout the body, which of course can cause discomfort. Foods that are high in amino acid tryptophan have been shown to increase serotonin levels, which reduces the sensitivity of neurotransmitters to pain (as will regular exercise.) Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and walnuts, have also been shown to significantly reduce symptoms of chronic pain for better pain management. For more information on what changes you can make to your diet to reduce your symptoms, please speak with your doctor or a licensed nutritionist.
This may seem counterintuitive and nearly impossible depending on your symptoms, but yoga has repeatedly proven to be an effective method of long-term pain alleviation for sufferers. Especially for those with back pains, the frequent stretching and strengthening of muscles through low-impact exercise can have astounding results. Many consider yoga to be a full body and mind treatment because of the emphasis on maintaining proper posture and relaxing breathing techniques, which together can reduce the causes and sensation of your pain.
Many patients have attested to the effectiveness of meditation towards pain relief. Meditation experts believe it is because through concentrated mindfulness of the symptoms and stresses associated with the pain, meditators are positively reshaping their neurological systems that sense pain. The other benefits of meditation, such as improved brain function and improved immune health, have also been linked to reduction of discomfort in chronic pain sufferers.