Chronic pain is the number one cause of long-term disability in Americans, with roughly 100 million people suffering from chronic pain. This type of discomfort is so prevalent, it affects more people than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.
Because pain is usually personal to the individual, it can be hard for others to understand and offer the right support. As a result, some people self-medicate to manage their symptoms, abusing prescription medications, opioids and alcohol. Sadly, self-medicating puts a person at risk for addiction and the need for dual diagnosis rehab in California.
If you have chronic pain and are looking for alternative ways to manage it, you have options. Here are some of the most effective alternative pain treatments that can help with fibromyalgia, migraines, back pain, nerve pain and more.
Acupuncture is quickly becoming a mainstream treatment for pain. It works for various pain types, such as fibromyalgia, back injuries and sports injuries. The belief is that placing thin needles at specific points in the body can release pain-numbing chemicals. They may also block pain signals from reaching the nerves. Acupuncture is low risk, so trying it won’t hurt you.
Chiropractic care has shown promise for treating pain conditions, particularly lower back pain. This practice believes that with proper alignment of the musculoskeletal structure, the body can heal itself without medication or surgery. Additionally, manipulating the spine restores joint mobility and offers pain relief.
Stress Reduction Techniques
Reducing stress relieves pain and increases pain tolerance. This is why it’s important to manage stress levels when living with a chronic pain condition. Some of the best stress reduction techniques include:
- Evidence suggests that yoga can help with pain by improving flexibility and strength. Plus, yoga encourages deep breathing exercises and boosts feel-good chemicals in the brain.
- Guided imagery. Directing your attention toward calming, relaxing images can help relieve stress. This is a useful tool when you are feeling stressed in a particular environment or situation.
- Because pain is subjective, neurofeedback treatment can help the brain function in a healthier way. Neurofeedback is a subdivision of biofeedback, which can be used for controlling unconscious bodily functions like blood pressure and heart rate.
- Massage therapy is incredibly relaxing and uses various pressures, movements and techniques to relieve muscle tension and release stress. It’s safe and can be used as much as needed.
Talk therapy, or psychotherapy, is important for pain patients because depression and chronic pain go hand in hand. To avoid self-medicating, attending talk therapy with a licensed therapist can help you make sense of your pain. Cognitive behavioral therapy is typically most effective and works to change the thought and behavior patterns that lead to unhappiness.
Supplements and Vitamins
Eating healthy is important for those living with chronic pain. The right vitamins and nutrients are needed to build strength and boost immunity. Plus, certain foods should be avoided, otherwise they can cause inflammation and swelling, making pain symptoms worse.
Even though most of your vitamins and nutrients should come from the foods you eat, it’s possible that you might need to add supplements and vitamins to your diet. Talk to your doctor about these options, as well as specific vitamins that are known for helping pain, such as glucosamine for arthritic pain and fish oil for swelling.
Managing chronic pain after substance abuse is possible. The key is to treat both the addiction and the underlying cause for pain and your desire to use. Awakenings Treatment Center offers substance abuse and chronic pain treatment in Agoura Hills. Contact us today to learn more our programs.