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Thursday, October 17, 2013

9 Natural Pain Killers: Alternative Treatments for Chronic Pain

In our lastpost, we discussed the growing problem of prescription drug abuse and how it’s been ruining lives across the world for years now. Painkillers are one of the most common prescription drugs for abuse, but many pain pill addicts begin taking these pills because a doctor prescribed them for chronic pain. If you or a loved one is facing chronic pain, it’s important to consider natural remedies before trying potentially addictive prescription pills.

Here are some of the best natural treatments for chronic pain:
  • Exercise — Regular physical activity can boost your energy, improve your mood and reduce your pain. Exercise has two benefits: Strengthening the painful area to decrease pain, and by releasing endorphins, the body’s natural pain killer.
  • Heat and ice — A combination of heat and ice can be an excellent way to temporarily soothe pain while your body works to heal on its own. If the injury is recent (i.e. it occurred within the last 48 hours), only use ice to help quell the pain.
  • Breathing exercises — In addition to decreasing stress, breathing exercises can help fight pain quickly and improve your mood. When you feel a sudden strike of pain, try taking in deep breaths through your nose and then exhaling through your mouth, trying to push as much air out as possible.
  • Meditate — Finding your Zen can help you become less sensitive to pain, dropping your chronic pain levels over time. Researchers have found that meditation helps boost the production of important pain-killing hormones in the brain.
  • Hypnotherapy — Some people who suffer from chronic pain claim that hypnosis has helped them learn to cope better with their pain and that the therapy has even decreased their pain levels.
  • Yoga — Studies show that yoga can reduce pain and increase functioning for people who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic pain in their lower back. Many practitioners say yoga also comes with the added benefit of reducing stress levels associated with chronic pain.
  • Supplements — Fish oil, vitamin D, tumeric and others have been shown to reduce patients’ levels of chronic pain, especially in cases of inflammation. Before starting any supplement regimen, though, be sure to check with your doctor to determine if the supplements are safe for you.
  • Acupuncture — Studies have found that acupuncture can help with a variety of chronic conditions, including fibromyalgia, back injuries and more. No one’s quite sure how acupuncture helps with chronic pain, but there are a couple dominant theories out there: It might cause your body to release pain-numbing chemicals, or it might help block pain signals that come from the nerves.
  • Chiropractic Treatment — Especially if you’re experiencing pain around your back or joints, regular sessions of chiropractic manipulation can help your body heal on its own by breaking up pockets of inflammation that may be causing your chronic pain.

As you can see, there are plenty of alternative treatments for chronic pain to try before turning to prescription painkillers. If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction to prescription pain medications, seek help immediately so you can get back on the road to health.

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