Pain Management Alternatives - Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain every day. Sports injuries, chronic neck, joint, or headache pain, and even recovering from surgery are all reasons why some people deal with pain. Pain medication prescriptions are written daily by doctors, but what if there was a way to manage pain without the worry of addiction or possible side effects? Today there are several alternative options to get away from powerful pain medications or opioid-based painkillers.
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When most people think about effective treatment for arthritis, Parkinson’s, or even cancer, they think of surgery and prescription medications. But what if physical therapy is the answer? In the last few years, physical therapy has become vital to the treatment and rehabilitation of anyone who is either ill or injured. And especially for older adults and seniors, physical therapy works both as a tool to recover from an injury and prevent several physical ailments.
Natural Pain Relief - If you have a toothache, backache, or any other type of pain, your first impulse may be to reach for pain medication. Many people rely on medications, but they can come with a risk of side effects, drug interactions, and sometimes misuse. While certain circumstances may require a prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication, it may also be possible to find some of the relief you need from a variety of natural pain relievers. Many herbs and spices have a long history of being used to relieve inflammation and pain.
Fear of chronic pain is a natural reaction, but this emotion actually contributes to the pain cycle! Let’s figure out how to break the pain-fear cycle! Fatigue and chronic pain tend to go hand in hand; often the fatigue can be harder to live with than the pain! Fatigue is not just feeling a bit tired, it’s feeling completely and entirely exhausted through every fiber of your being. This study describes fatigue aptly, Fatigue has been defined as an overwhelming sense of tiredness, lack of energy, and feeling of exhaustion.
Stress causes pain, and pain causes stress: this cycle is tough to break but it is possible to do so. This blog explains how. Stress and chronic pain are far more intertwined than you might think; one can cause the other and you can become stuck in this cycle which is increasingly hard to get out of, but it is possible to break free!
Knowing these simple breathing techniques can be key in helping you to manage and reduce the effects of persistent pain. To breathe is to be alive, and autonomic bodily function that we hardly pay attention to. It is the first thing we do upon birth and the last thing we do before death. You could say that all life revolves around this simple act. And yet, so many of us are not breathing the way we should, what with the demands and stress in modern society. Many of us take shallow breaths trapped within our chests when directing our breath into our diaphragms is more beneficial for our wellbeing. This accumulates and often leads to aches and pains that go on to become chronic.
When someone is in pain, their whole family is impacted. I was reminded of this truth recently as visitors approached my booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. I was struck by how many people were stopping by my booth on behalf of somebody in their lives who was having a difficult time with chronic pain. The most memorable was when a brother and sister, probably about 5 and 6 years old, dragged their mom over to talk to me about their grandfather, who was struggling with neck pain.
To truly understand the dangers of opioids we need to understand what opioids are. Are opioids more dangerous than they are effective? And what are the alternatives? If you’re someone who suffers from chronic pain, it’s likely that you’ve thought of every potential avenue to ease your suffering. But there are a few pain relief avenues that can cause more harm than good, and opioids are one such example. Opioids can be prescribed by a doctor to treat chronic pain caused by a wide array of things like arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, sports injuries, migraines, and more. They’re highly effective but equally as dangerous.
Our experience of pain can have a lot to do with our past – especially when our past includes trauma. Research is showing us that the severity of a pain problem, even including levels of physical disability, can be influenced by traumatic events from earlier in life without us even knowing it. In fact, studies on this subject have found that the presence of past trauma was associated with a two-fold to three-fold increase in the subsequent development of chronic widespread pain, and reports of abuse in childhood were associated with as much as a 97% increase in risk for chronic pain in adulthood.
You don’t need to “run a marathon” or do anything strenuous to feel super fatigued. Even after a good night’s sleep, you can wake up feeling very tired and heavy, like you were run over by a truck. It can force you to cancel or reschedule your plans and stay in bed all day. It’s frustrating at times when the people around you don’t understand what fatigue feels like. Or even worse, when they think they understand and try to relate to you and say: “I know, I feel like that sometimes, too,” or “Just sit down for a little bit, you’ll be fine,” or “Did you sleep last night?” And when you explain to them, they still don’t get it.
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